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Haacht, Belgium

Jocque M.,BINCO Vzw | Jocque M.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | Jocque R.,Royal Museum for Central Africa

Cyphophthalmi is a group of small to medium sized opilionids with a circumglobal distribution that have often been overlooked in biodiversity surveys due to their small size, cryptic life style and general resemblance to mites. We present an overview of the described species in the genus Neogovea (Neogoveidae), an identification key to the species and the description of a new species based on the material from a biodiversity survey of an inselberg in French Guyana. Neogovea virginie n. sp. is morphologically most similar to N. immsi Hinton occurring in Brazil, but differentiated by the structure of the "crown" of the spermatopositor. Copyright © 2011. Source

Vanhove M.P.M.,BINCO Vzw | Vanhove M.P.M.,Catholic University of Leuven | Jocque M.,BINCO Vzw | Jocque M.,Hope House Projects | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Insect Conservation

With the largest part of diversity in the world absorbed by invertebrates, ignoring invertebrates in biodiversity surveys and monitoring of areas under conservation would give a strongly incomplete image. The poor knowledge of most invertebrate taxa and their enormous diversity limits most surveys to the better-studied groups. Hawkmoths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) are one of the more charismatic and well-known groups among the Lepidoptera and hence a valuable group commonly used in biodiversity research. In this small-scale study, 42 museum specimens of sphingids from Cusuco National Park (Cortés, Honduras) were identified and compared to recent published accounts. This yielded three new country records and, in addition, four new regional records for the park. Some of the additions to the Honduran fauna probably result from recent taxonomic changes. However, the several contributions using a small collection of this well-studied group in an area which has attracted previous research interest, demonstrate the incomplete data availability and the necessity for more rigorous surveying. Several new records concern high altitude species, indicating the data gap in mountains. As elevation is an important determinant of sphingid community structure, sampling across an altitudinal range is recommended. This study also underpins the usefulness of a reference collection-based approach in particular, as many hawkmoth species are identified using subtle diagnostic characters. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Mertens J.,BINCO Vzw | Jocque M.,BINCO Vzw | Jocque M.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Geeraert L.,BINCO Vzw | And 3 more authors.

Knowledge of the Ethiopian amphibian fauna is limited and Southwest Ethiopia remains understudied. This part of Ethiopia, where most of the country’s remaining natural forest is situated, is known to harbour the only populations of Afrixalus clarkei (Largen), an endemic banana frog, worldwide. This species is under great threat of extinction and is therefore classified as endangered on the IUCN red list. We surveyed different potential habitats for this species outside its known range and found several new populations extending its known habitat preference, and the geographical and altitudinal range of the species. We here show that Afrixalus clarkei is more common than previously thought. © Jan Mertens et al. Source

Jocque M.,BINCO Vzw | Jocque M.,Hope House Projects | Jocque M.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | Vanhove M.P.M.,BINCO Vzw | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Insect Science

Jewel scarabs, beetles in the genus Chrysina Kirby (Coleoptera: Rutelinae: Scarabaeidae), receive their name from the bright, often gold, green elytra that reflect light like a precious stone. Jewel scarabs are commonly observed at light traps in Mesoamerican cloud forests, and their associa-tion with mountain forests makes them potentially interesting candidates for cloud forest conservation monitoring. The absence of survey protocols and identification tools, and the little ecological information available are barriers. In the present study, collection of Chrysina species assembled during biodiversity surveys by Operation Wallacea in Cusuco National Park (CNP), Honduras, were studied. The aim of this overview is to provide an easy to use identification tool for in the field, hopefully stimulating data collection on these beetles. Based on the data associat-ed with the collection localities, elevation distribution of the species in the park was analyzed. The limited data points available were complemented with potential distribution areas generated with distribution models based on climate and elevation data. This study is aimed at initializing the development of a survey protocol for Chrysina species that can be used in cloud forest con-servation monitoring throughout Central America. A list of Chrysina species recorded from Honduras so far is provided. The six identified and one unidentified species recorded from CNP are easy to identify in the field based on color and straightforward morphological characteristics. Literature research re-vealed ten species currently recorded from Honduras. This low species richness in comparison with surrounding Central American countries indicates the poor knowledge of this genus in Hon-duras. Chrysina species richness in CNP increases with elevation, thereby making the genus one of a few groups of organisms where this correlation is observed, and rendering it a suitable inver-tebrate representative for cloud forest habitats in Central America. Source

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