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Taipei, Taiwan

The genus Hemistola Warren, 1893 in Taiwan is reviewed. Seven species are confirmed, with descriptions of three new species provided: H. piceacola sp. nov., H. fui sp. nov. and H. taiwanensis sp. nov. The immature stages and unusual conifer-feeding behavior of H. piceacola on Taiwan spruce (Picea morrisonicola) are reported. The distribution of H. tenuilinea (Alphéraky, 1897) is discussed and this species is omitted from the Taiwanese fauna. © 2013 Magnolia Press. Source

Although the caterpillars are well-known for the stings and magnificent coloration, the systematics of Limacodidae is historically neglected and chaotic due to the difficulty in matching the larval with adult stages as well as the very conservative and convergent adult morphology. One of the biggest taxonomic problems surrounds a collective group from Southeastern Asia, termed the "green limacodid moths", which harbours at least 90 species placed in the genus Parasa Walker, 1859 and 14 "subunits". The P. undulata group was previously composed of 3 species from China and Taiwan, and characterized only by wing pattern. This species group is extensively studied herein with two new species described, i.e. P. viridiflamma sp. n. (Taiwan) and P. minwangi sp. n. (S. China), and discovery of female genitalia of three species, presenting new phylogenetic insights in this potentially paraphyletic genus. In addition, one limacodid larva was found to be feeding exclusively on Picea (Pinaceae) in Taiwan. Its identity, Parasa pygmy Solovyev, 2010 in P. undulata group, is confirmed through matching its COI sequence to the adult. This discovery is also biologically significant because the previous known host breadth of Parasa was of polyphagy on various angiosperm plant families. This case, therefore, represents the first record of conifer-feeding behavior in this family as well as the first of specialized herbivory in the genus. Meanwhile, the background match between Picea leaves and larval coloration is shared with other Picea-feeding insects. This phenomenon is worth of further investigation in the aspect of convergent evolution of crypsis associated with a particular plant. © Shipher Wu, Weichun Chang. Source

Hsieh H.-M.,Central University of Costa Rica | Lee J.C.-I.,Institute of Forensic Medicine | Lee J.C.-I.,National Taiwan University | Wu J.-H.,ChangHua County Police Bureau | And 7 more authors.
Forensic Science International: Genetics

Pangolin scales are encountered in traditional East Asian medicines (TEAM) and the ever increasing demand for these scales has escalated the decline in the numbers of these mammals. The identification of protected pangolin species is necessary to enforce international and national legislation as well as assist with conservation measures. There is limited morphological feature on a pangolin scale thus requiring DNA analysis as a means of identification. We report on the isolation of DNA from pangolin scales and a strategy for obtaining the full length of the mitochondrial D-loop, being 1159 bp. Primer sets creating five overlapping amplicons were designed to amplify sections of this mitochondrial DNA locus. DNA from the blood stain of nineteen Formosan pangolins (Manis pentadactyla pentadactyla) along with 145 scale samples that were suspected to have come from pangolins, was amplified and sequenced; leading to a total of 91 D-loop sequences being obtained. The 19 Formosan pangolin sequences produced 5 haplotypes and 72 of the 145 seized scales provided useable sequence classified as a further 38 haplotypes. The D-loop sequences from those scales suspected to be from a pangolin had a higher similarity to any of the 19 samples taken from M. p. pentadactyla compared to a D-loop sequence from Manis tetradactyla (the only pangolin D-loop sequence in GenBank, NC-004027). These 43 haplotypes were used to establish a local database for the D-loop sequence of pangolins and add to the data of Manis sp. held on GenBank. The PCR amplification strategy development in this study could be used in forensic DNA identification of scales suspected to be from protected pangolin species. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Chen H.,National Taiwan University | Lin G.-W.,National Taiwan University | Lu M.-H.,National Taiwan University | Shih T.-Y.,National Taiwan University | And 3 more authors.

From 1996 through 2007, several heavy typhoons and earthquakes precipitated landslide hazards in southeast Taiwan. In the present study, we analyze the impact of topography, lithology, rainfall and earthquakes on landsliding and sediment transport by quantifying the landslide ratio (ratio of landslide area to catchment area) and the sediment discharge for the Sinwulu and Luye upstream catchments of the Peinan River. The steep topography in these two catchments causes a large proportion of landslide ratios on slopes to exceeding 50°, a condition which accelerates the delivery of landslide debris to the downslope channel. The landslide ratios of 0.84%-2.30% are obviously related to the rock strength and discontinuity density of the terrain, but we find the magnitude of landsliding and sediment discharge to vary with the occurrence of earthquakes. Typhoon-induced rainstorms generate the bulk of sediment discharge in the study catchments, though the landslide debris is transported by the huge amounts of runoff produced by rainstorms. A contributing factor is the recent occurrence of severe earthquakes which weakened the geomaterial, leading in turn to further increases of fluvial sediment during subsequent typhoons. Additionally, the finding that eventual reduction of unit sediment concentration after high magnitude earthquake events reveals that the downslope transport of landslide debris associated with earthquake activity and subsequent typhoon events precipitates a relatively short term, 1-3. year, increase of erosion rates in these two study areas in southeastern Taiwan. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Lin G.-W.,National Taiwan University | Chen H.,National Taiwan University | Petley D.N.,Durham University | Horng M.-J.,National Taiwan University | And 2 more authors.
Engineering Geology

Typhoon-triggered landslides deliver huge amounts of sediment to the upstream channel of the Shihmen Reservoir in northern Taiwan. Observation data regarding landsliding, sediment discharge and water turbidity following five major typhoon events from 1985 to 2006 demonstrated that each time water turbidity in the reservoir area rapidly increased up to ten-fold from the river catchment drainage, and the weight of landslide debris exceeded total sediment discharge five-fold. The fact that huge amounts of landslide debris still remained on upstream slopes and water turbidity suddenly increased in the reservoir area but not in upstream channel implied that the increasing water turbidity in the Shihmen Reservoir was indirectly related to the large landslides occurring in the upstream catchment. The main cause of high turbidity in the reservoir area was that, during a typhoon event, high water discharge flowing into the reservoir scoured the fine fraction sediment at the bottom of the reservoir and formed hyperpycanl flow with high turbidity, which then ascended to contaminate the reservoir surface water. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

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