The WBA Expedition to Chile

Between the end of December 2013 and the beginning of January 2014, Alberto Ballerio, Luca Toledano and Rebecca Olivieri went to Chile to make an entomological expedition supported by the WBA. After having contacted the Chilean entomologists of the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Santiago de Chile, the expedition began with some investigations in the Araucania Region, where the naturalists visited the Conguillio Park with its mixed austral forests of Nothofagus beeches and Araucaria pines, and near Valdivia, where a part of the coastal Valdivian forest (Parque Oncol) was investigated. Later, Alberto Ballerio continued to the North, and visited the National Park of Nahuelbuta (the last Araucaria forest along the coastal chain), the Alto Vilches (majestic forests of Nothofagus) and the “La Campana” Park (famous for the ascension of the Cerro La Campana made by Charles Darwin and characterized by old forests of Nothofagus mixed with arid landscape, with palms, puya and columnar cacti): in the same time Luca Toledano and Rebecca Olivieri went to the South to visit the Puyehue and Vicente Péres Rosales Parks, dominated by impressive volcanoes and characterized by da fitte foreste and very large lakes originated by the perennial glaciers of the top of the same volcanoes.
The investigations allowed the discovering of a new species of Coleoptera Ceratocanthinae by Alberto Ballerio and the collection by Luca Toledano of some specimens belonging to two new species of Bembidion that are to be described by David Maddison (Oregon State University, Corvallis). Now, laboratory investigations are continuing with the examination of the museal material, found thanks to the new Chilean contacts.

A new species from Monte Baldo, Hortus Europae!

The research activities of  WBA, besides including the biodiversity hot spots all over the world (during 2013 our members were in Turkey and Chile) are also directed to investigate the biodiversity of the Italian and European countryside. Our members Cesare Bellò and Cosimo Baviera, who is researcher to the Department of Animal Biology and Marine Ecology of the University of Messina, published on the review ZOOTAXA (3768-4: 487–496; 2014) l’articolo “The first discovery of the genus Meira Jacquelin du Val outside the western mediterranean area, with description of a new species (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Entiminae)”. It is a very interesting work that describes a new species of Coleoptera Curculionidae, Meira mariaesilvanae, collected on the Monte Baldo during the “Biodiversity Week 2013” to the Botanical Garden of the Monte Baldo, at Novezzina. The new species has been collected associated to Sedum rupestre, in the xerothermic oasis of the GardaLake, on the slopes of the Monte Baldo, at 260 m of altitude.
The discovery is particularly significant because it is the first finding of the genus Meira in the North East of Italy, out of its distribution area, typically Mediterranean (From Pyrenees to Calabria.
The species has been dedicated to our member Maria Silvana Chemello, the wife of Cesare Bellò, in recognition for her long and assiduous contribution given to the investigation of endogean fauna.

The holotype are preserved in the collection of Cesare Bellò, the several paratypes are conserved in several italian Museum (Milano, Genova, Verona, Roma). Our Association for many years supported the naturalistic researches in the Mediterranean basin through a specific research project (Research Missions in the Mediterranean Basin), that until now brought to the discovery of several tens of new species for science. Therefore, WBA wants to express sincere congratulations to the authors for the new discovery in an area considered among the richest in biodiversity all over Europe.

The persons concerned can ask for a PDF copy of the paper directly to our member Bellò to the following e-mail address:


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