Best Beetle Paper Award

December 14th, 2010

At this year's Annual Meeting of the Coleopterists' Society, Jim Liebherr received the Best Paper Award for the 2009 volume of The Coleopterists' Bulletin. Liebherr's contribution, entitled "Alien and Native Carabidae (Coleoptera) share Lanai, an ecologically devastated island," looked at the native and alien carabid beetle species that reside on Lanai, a small, dry Hawaiian Island that has undergone immense ecological changes over the past 150 years. Alien carabid species were found to occur predominantly in disturbed ecological situations associated with human activities such as agriculture or road development. Conversely, native species persist in the remnant patches of forest that occur on the low mountain, Lanaihale, that forms the backbone of this small island. So first the bad news. Human-mediated disturbance in concert with import of infested commodities opens the door for alien insect species to enter the ecosystem. Now the good news! Native species persist in patches of relatively undisturbed forest, suggesting that rehabilitation of these habitats will lead to enhanced populations of native insects.

 

Mecyclothorax flavipes, a species newly described in Liebherr's paper. Though entomologsists have worked on Lanai since 1892, this species was first collected in 1987.