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Universities, Philcolnet To Launch New Weevil Species

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A new weevil species only endemic to Zamboanga City will be launched virtually on December 15.

Dr. Genelyn G. Madjos, one of the researchers said, January, during the sampling visit, they discovered the new weevil species at the WMSU Experimental Forest, La Paz, Zamboanga City. This is called the Metapocyrtus (Dolichocephalocyrtus) zamboanganus named after its type locality.

This newly discovered species was featured in detail in an international journal, Journal of Tropical Coleopterology, entitled “A new Metapocyrtus Heller 1912 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae) from Zamboanga Peninsula, Mindanao Island, Philippines”. This paper was authored by Dr. Analyn A. Cabras, Dr. Genelyn G. Madjos, and Dr. Milton Norman D. Medina.

Entomologically, Zamboanga region is one of the least explored areas in Mindanao, especially for its beetle fauna thus it is not surprising to find a new species even in just one day of fieldwork. The specimens are deposited in the following collections: UMCRC – Coleoptera Research Center, University of Mindanao, Philippines, MBLI – Private Collection of Maurizio Bollino, Lecce, Italy, and ABFI – Private Collection of Arnaldo Bordoni (Florence, Italy).

The University of Mindanao (UM), Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and the Philippine Coleopterological Network (PhilColNet) will now do the launching.

The launching aims to increase awareness and involvement of the communities in conserving a biodiverse  environment in Zamboanga Peninsula; and to provide an avenue for a research utilization activity on the knowledge transfer to the community.

This research is significant towards conservation policy as this will provide the list of beetle species within the agroforestry and protected areas of ZamPen; identify species richness and conservation status within the areas, and describe possible new species to science. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been a perpetual partner towards biodiversity conservation policy.

Earlier this year, the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the University of Mindanao (UM) on Coleopteran Research and Conservation with the objectives to conduct capability building on coleopterology; to conduct joint scientific expedition in Zamboanga Peninsula to assess coleopteran fauna in the region; and to enhance research productivities of both institutions by having joint scientific publications.

This research collaboration was conceptualized by the UM researchers Dr. Norman Milton D. Medina and Dr. Analyn A. Cabras and WMSU researcher Dr. Genelyn G. Madjos during the 1st Philippine Coleopterological Network Meeting with the beetle experts from the University of Latvia, Europe. WMSU officials headed by then-President Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho supported the initiative through a MOA signing which later ended in reconnaissance and short sampling visit at the Pasonanca Natural Park and WMSU Experimental Forest.
(OIC David Ramos, RPN DXXX Zamboanga)

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