Newly Discovered Beetle Species Named After Philippine Jesuit Priest – Manila Bulletin

A newly discovered species of beetle has been named after former Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) president and Jesuit priest Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ, the university said on Thursday, November 11. .

The newly discovered beetles, Byrrhinus negrosensis (left) and Byrrhinus villarini (right). (Photo by Ateneo de Manila University)

Named Byrrhinus villarini, the small, dark and hairy beetle was one of two new species of beetles discovered on the island of Negros in the Western Visayas by Emmanuel D. Delocado and Hendrik Freitag of the Ateneo Biodiversity Research Laboratory in the Department of biology.

“Delocado and Freitag have decided to give the new species the name of Fr. Villarin in recognition of his strong pressure for the environmental research program of the University during his nine-year tenure,” said ADMU . “Father Villarin is also a researcher in the field of the environment and sustainable development.

Br. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ (Photo by Ateneo de Manila University)

The other species, Byrrhinus negrosensis, was named after the island of Negros from which the two species were collected.

“The discovery was remarkable because the two species were the first additional new species of Philippine Byrrhinus in the past 28 years,” the university said.

“Out of five known species present in the country, there are now seven species of Byrrhinus. Four of which, including B. villarini and B. negrosensis, are only found in the Philippines, ”he added.

Additionally, the university noted that the discovery of the new species “comes at a time of increased human activity on the island of Negros, especially in protected areas.”

“So, findings like this provide yet another reason to push for the continued protection of these pristine localities despite the strong move towards privatization and commercialization of these areas,” the school said.

The discovery was published in the international scientific journal ZooKeys in an article titled “Two New Species of Byrrhinus Motschulsky, 1858 (Coleoptera, Limnichidae, Limnichinae) from Negros, Philippines”.

The expedition to Negros Island was part of the “Freshwater Biodiversity Surveys” project funded by the Research Fund of the School of Science and Engineering Industry 4.0 (SI4-013) of the Ateneo Research Institute of Science and Engineering (ARISE) and the Biodiversity Teaching in a Filipino-Cambodian-German Network Project (BIO-PHIL).

“The discovery was made during the doctorate. Delocado’s thesis, which he successfully defended on November 9, 2021. Freitag was his advisor, ”said ADMU.

“Currently, there are only four laboratories in the world, including the Ateneo Biodiversity Research Laboratory, which study the taxonomy and systematics of the beetle family Limnichidae (tiny marsh-loving beetles) to which Byrrhinus belongs. “, he added.


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