New beetle species found on Mt. Hamiguitan

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 April) – Scientists from Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Bukidnon discovered a new species of snout beetle named “Metapocyrtus bronsi sp. nov.” on Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (MHRWS) in Davao Oriental.

The newly discovered species of beetle named “Metapocyrtus bronsi sp. nov.” discovered on Mt Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental. (Photo courtesy of DENR-Davao)

In a statement released on Tuesday, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Davao said the newly discovered weevils, which are endemic to Mt. Hamiguitan, were found settling on the leaves of ferns in the buffer zone of the mountain.

Mt. Hamiguitan is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site after its inscription on June 23, 2014.

It said the beetle is one of the hundreds of species under the genus Metapocyrtus. The newly discovered beetles are characterized by its “yellow gold to bronze scale markings with green to blue scales scattered at the edge of the markings in elytra and pronotum and legs entirely black,” according to the agency.

It said that the discovery was a result of the biodiversity research conducted by the scientists and researchers of CMU, a long-time conservation partner of the agency.

Aside from “Metapocyrtus bronsi sp. nov.”, Clint Michael Cleofe, a MHRWS-based DENR conservationist, said Mt. Hamiguitan has another endemic species of beetle called “Colilodion colongi.”

It said that researchers are calling for the conservation of MHRWS “for the perpetuity of the flora and fauna habituating in it.”

The Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, declared a protected area under Republic Act 9303 (Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary Act of 2004), measures 16,923 hectares covering Mati City and the municipalities of San Isidro and Governor Generoso.

Recorded species on Mt. Hamiguitan are 963 species of flora and 440 species of fauna, 341 of which are endemic to the Philippines. The plants include 729 angiosperms, 27 conifers, 164 ferns and allies, 17 mosses, 13 liverworts, and 13 lichens while the known fauna include 15 species of non-flying mammals, 11 species of flying mammals, 108 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles, 18 species of frogs, 142 species of butterflies, 31 species of dragonflies and damselflies, 46 species of spiders, four species of earthworms, 15 species of nematodes, and 17 species of freshwater fish. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)