Thursday, December 13, 2012

Teleiopsis paulheberti sp. nov.

In no other field of research DNA Barcoding had more impact than in the taxonomy of lepidoptera. One of the first major papers was on some cryptic species of skipper butterflies, the order with the most barcodes to date (391353 representing at least 15865 species) is lepidoptera, and 157 papers on lepidoptera barcoding have been published since 2004 .

There is one more publication since Tuesday and what makes it perhaps more special that the others is the fact that the authors Peter Huemer and Marko Mutanen used it to honor the "Father of DNA Barcoding", Paul Hebert by naming a newly discovered alpine species after him. 

Teleiopsis paulheberti sp. nov. is described as follows:
Head cream-white; second segment of labial palpus cream-white, brown at base and apex, and tinged brown medially; thorax and tegula mottled cream and light brown, or rarely plain cream. Forewing length ♂, 9.2–11.4 mm, ♀, 9.1–10.0 mm; forewing ground colour predominantly cream, with some greyish mottling, particularly extensive in material from the Pyrenees; oblique fascia of raised black scales from basal part of costa to dorsum; three black dots of raised scales edged with ochreous in middle of forewing; two further spots before whitish subapical fascia; apical part greyish with black spots along termen; fringes grey. Hind wing grey-brown to moderately light grey, with some variation depending on substrate.

For those (like me) who find that too complicated and hard to understand I have pasted some images of males of the moth as shown in the paper.

I think this is a very nice gesture to honor Paul and the fact that without his vision, energy, and endurance DNA Barcoding would have never been such a success story. And what would be a better fit than naming a representative of the group he is most passionate about after him?

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