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!
Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses