The researchers, including a team from the University of Granada (UGR), used biochemical and molecular techniques for a decade to detail the taxonomical and phylogenetic relationships of the insects of the Tyrrhenoleuctra plecoptera genus that are spread across the Western Mediterranean (northern Africa, Iberian Peninsula, Balearic Isles, Corsica and Sardinia). The analyses included three species described using morphological characters as a basis.
"One of the results discovered and published in our studies is that the population of Tyrrhenoleuctra on the Balearic Islands is a clearly distinct taxon and demands acknowledgement of its status as an independent species", José Manuel Tierno de Figueroa, co-author of the study and a researcher in the Department of Animal Biology at the UGR explained SINC.
In order to demonstrate that the insect, called Tyrrhenoleuctra antoninoi, is really a species in its own right the team of scientists, comprising the Spanish researcher and Romolo Fochetti from the Tuscia University of Studies (Italy), wrote a scientific description in the journal Zootaxa, with biochemical (based on studies of enzymatic electrophoresis) and molecular characters (by means of mitochondrial DNA fragment sequencing).
Among the results of the study, Tierno de Figueroa and Fochetti highlighted the fact that insect was genetically distinct and "more closely related to populations on the southern Iberian peninsula and northern Africa than to those found on Corsica and Sardinia". The researchers also highlight that Tyrrhenoleuctra evolve molecularly at a "considerably slower rate than other insects distributed similarly in geographical terms.
Very Different Insects
Populations of insects belonging to the Tyrrhenoleuctra plecoptera genus can be found in temporary fresh water streams, sometimes at sea level, "which is very unusual for this group of insects, which generally live in highly oxygenated water in the medium or high alps", Tierno de Figueroa clarified. The scientists performed biochemical and molecular analyses to also discern these insects' biogeographical implications.
A study carried out on a larger scale had already shown great variation in almost all the characters that experts use to separate species. "Thus, intra-specific variability was as high as inter-specific variability, rendering morphological characters useless for identification purposes", the biologist said.
The new species of plecoptera takes the name of Tyrrhenoleuctra antoninoi in honour of researcher Antonino Sánchez-Ortega, who died in 2002 after devoting the best part of his life to studying these insects on the Iberian Peninsula.
Fochetti, Romolo; Tierno de Figueroa, José Manuel. "A new species of Leuctridae discovered by means of molecular and biochemical approaches: Tyrrhenoleuctra antoninoi n. sp (Insecta: Plecoptera)" Zootaxa 2112: 41-46 2009.
SINC | EurekAlert!
‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie
Calcium Induces Chronic Lung Infections
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy