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Savenkov N.,Latvian Museum of Natural History

Elachista sulcsiella sp. n. from Latvia is described. A series of specimens was collected by netting and breeding in three localities. The newly described species belongs to the Elachista bifasciella-group and is likely a close relative of E. irenae Buszko and E. talgarella Kaila. The adult habitus and genitalia of both sexes are figured. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press. Source

Barsevskis A.,Daugavpils University | Savenkov N.,Latvian Museum of Natural History
Baltic Journal of Coleopterology

The current paper provides data on the occurrence and distribution of 48 long-horned beetle species in Latvia. One species - Grammoptera ustulata (Schaller, 1783) - is reported for the first time for the fauna of the Baltic states (incl. Latvia). Two species - Agapanthia violacea (Fabricius, 1775) and Phytoecia pustulata (Schrank, 1776) - are new for the Latvian fauna. New findings for a number of rare species are presented. For two species - Stenurella bifasciata bifasciata (O.F.Müller, 1776) and Phytoecia virgula (Charpentier, 1825) - the tendency to expand their range northwards is detected. This finding, possibly, indicates climate changes. Source

Stalazs A.,Latvia University of Agriculture | Dreimanis J.,Latvian Museum of Natural History
Zoology and Ecology

Sour cherries (Prunus cerasus) and domestic plums (Prunus domestica) are fruit crops of commercial interest worldwide. As most of Prunus are early blooming plants, there is a problem to provide an effective pollination for qualitative fruit setting. During the last decade, low fruit setting in sour cherries and domestic plums was observed in Latvia. Fruit setting can be influenced by different factors, including the quality of pollination provided by pollinating insects. To understand the current situation with pollinator availability in cherry and plum orchards, observations have been made on anthophilous insect diversity from 2013 to 2015. Results demonstrate that flowers of sour cherries and domestic plums attract insects from three main taxonomic groups – Coleoptera (31.9%), Diptera (37.8%), and Hymenoptera (30.4%). Observations showed that traditional pollinators, bees and bumblebees, visited flowers in low numbers. Flowers of sour cherries showed higher attraction to bees than those of domestic plums did. It was observed that native bumblebees were not attracted by flowers of both crops, but buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) from artificial colonies quite actively visited flowers of sour cherries. The flowers of both crops attracted quite a large number of Meligethes spp. beetles, small flies, and two species of ants (Formica fusca and Lasius niger). Seven-spot ladybirds (Coccinella septempunctata) were recognised as alternative effective pollen carriers. © 2016 Nature Research Centre Source

The brachiopod Hirnantia sagittifera (M'Coy) and trilobite morphs of the genus Mucronaspis from the topmost Ordovician Porkuni Stage of the central East Baltic are described and compared with those from the Hirnantian Stage of other regions. These important Hirnantian taxa occur in the Livonian Tongue of the Central Baltoscandian Facies Belt of the Baltic Basin, where the Porkuni Stage is represented by the non-graptolitic Kuldiga and Saldus formations. Hirnantia sagittifera appears in the lowermost part of the Porkuni Stage and is rather widely distributed in the basin in spite of its rare finds in each locality. Our study of trilobites of the genus Mucronaspis has enabled us to observe morphological changes in its exoskeleton in time and to identify a succession of five morphotypes (morphs). In some characteristics these morphs are similar to those of different alleged species of the genus Mucronaspis (M. olini, M. danai, M. ganabina, M. mucronata) but they cannot be definitely assigned to any of these species due to some variances. However, here for the first time a stratigraphically ordered collection is presented, which deserves attention in revising the taxonomy of highly variable Mucronaspis. The described brachiopods and trilobites occur mainly in the strata correlated with the Normalograptus extraordinarius graptolite Biozone. However, the uppermost finds of both taxa come from strata correlated with the N. persculptus Biozone. Source

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