Over 100 New Tiny Predatory Beetle Species Discovered in Tahiti

Posted on August 20, 2013

Mecyclothorax ramagei a new beetle species in Tahiti


Over 100 new species of tiny predatory beetles have been discovered in Tahiti. The beetle species were discovered during a collaborative biological survey that focused on the insects of French Polynesia. The wingless beetles range in size from 3 to 8 millimeters long. One of the new beetle species, Mecyclothorax ramagei, is pictured above.

James Liebherr of Cornell University, author of the ZooKeys paper about the new beetles, says in a statement, "It is exhilarating working with such a fauna, because every new locality or ecological situation has the high probability of supporting a species nobody has seen before."

Liebherr also says, "Now that the 101 species of small predatory beetles currently known from Tahiti can be identified, field sampling can be used to evaluate their conservation status relative to alien threat. Everybody who makes landfall on Tahiti, either by air or sea, should endeavor to disembark pest free so as to protect the many denizens of the mountain forests who make the native ecosystems work."

Photo: James K. Liebherr