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Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of the prionoceridae (insecta: coleoptera: cleroidea) in the indochinese subregion

Geiser, Michael. Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of the prionoceridae (insecta: coleoptera: cleroidea) in the indochinese subregion. 2015, PhD Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_11337

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Abstract

The aims of this dissertation are the following: Firstly, a taxonomic catalogue of Prionoceridae will be given, to provide a stable foundation for any taxonomic works on this group. Apart from a simple listing of all available scientific names, a complete bibliography will be given for each taxon, along with a summary of its known geographic distribution. Secondly, the eastern Indochinese species of the largest prionocerid genus, Idgia, will be revised taxonomically. Currently, only 14 species of this genus have been cited for Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia (Pic, 1923a), which turned out to be a gross under-representation. Along with descriptions of numerous new species and a new genus, this chapter will provide detailed re-descriptions and illustrations of all previously described species, new faunistic data, as well as taxonomic notes on related species. Also, a key will be provided to facilitate their identification.
The third part of this work is dedicated to a very distinctive clade of Prionoceridae, whose members are currently placed in the genus Idgia, although they differ markedly in a number of characters. This clade will be described as a new genus and revised at the same time. This taxonomic revision also includes (re-)descriptions of all taxa, illustrations, new distributional data and an identification key. The species of this clade are not exclusively Indochinese, but also occur in parts of Palearctic China and in the Himalayas.
After having added two new genera in these two chapters, an updated key to genera of Prionoceridae will be provided.
Finally, a phylogenetic study of the family Prionoceridae will provide some insight into the relatitionships between species, species-groups and genera of Prionoceridae. This part will be the first large-scale study on prionocerids using molecular markers and the first work to examine also biogeography and the evolution of life-history traits within a phylogenetic framework. To provide a meaningful representation of clades and described genera, not only Indochinese taxa are included in this part, but the fauna of Indochina will be particularly well represented. More broad-scale biogeographical analysis will require denser sampling, which is currently not available.
Similarly, the biology and ecology of prionocerids is poorly understood, but this work provides a spring board, in which research can be focussed on questions of nocturnality, mimicry and ecological specialisation in this group. Ultimately, such work will hopefully provide information relevant to conservationists for preserving both these species and the habitats they occupy.
Overall, this dissertation aims at overcoming at least parts of the huge "taxonomic impediment" (Wheeler & al., 2004), which has encumbered research on "malacoderm" beetles in Indochina and filling the various gaps in knowledge that have accumulated during almost 90 years of taxonomic neglect. Even though Prionoceridae are a small family, making up only a minor part of the "melyrid lineage", it is hoped that similar studies can be conducted on other families in future. Even though my overall contribution towards the understanding of the enormous biodiversity of the "Indo-Burma" hotspot may be a small one, I hope to provide an example for other researchers, working on similar project on other groups of organisms.
Advisors:Nagel, Peter
Committee Members:Wagner, Thomas
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Institut für Natur- Landschafts- und Umweltschutz > Biogeographie (Nagel)
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis no:11337
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Number of Pages:255 S.
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:30 Jun 2016 10:58
Deposited On:17 Nov 2015 11:20

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