BY JEREMY HANCE
Described in the new book Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea, the new beetles found in the Aseki region are all ecologically linked to rotting wood.
The new beetle species belong to two different families with 15 new jewel beetles, and nine new longicorn beetles. Although new to science, the beetles are already gravely imperilled.
"Logging and palm oil plantations are expanding in Aseki," Nylander told mongabay.com. "The unique nature of this montane area is now in danger.
In his research, Nylander has found that the Aseki region is a notable hotspot for unique wood-devouring beetles, including over 50 species of weevils, scarab beetles, and stag beetles found no-where else in the world.
"PNG’s Oro Province, not far from Aseki, is home to the world's largest butterfly, the majestic Queen Alexandra birdwing, which is a real beauty and is larger than many little birds.
“Queen Alexandra is the national insect of Papua New Guinea (it is found, for example, on coins) and is also locally protected. But the plants they depend on for food, Aristolochia schlecteri, is not protected at all," Telnov says.
Source: mongabay.com, 23 November
Read more: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/1123-hance_png_beetles.html#ixzz1eatR9dua