Insect Communities

Description of 9 new species of man-plumed moths

Our report on the newly discovered hotspot of biodiversity of many-plumed moths (Alucitidae) in the Mount Cameroon area has been published in the Zookeys journal just yesterday. Whilst from any other place in the tropical Africa, maximally few species (typically just one or two) of this group are known, we have reported already 15 species of many-plumed moths from our first two expeditions to Mount Cameroon (2014 and 2015). Nine of them were described as new for science in the paper: Alucita escobari, A. fokami, A janeceki and A. besongi were named after our close collaborators and friends; A. lidiyaA. ludmila, A. mischenini and A. olga were dedicated to colleagues and relatives of our Russian co-authors, and A. longipenis was named according to his long male genitalia. Four more species had never been recorded from Cameroon before. Such findings evidence how Mount Cameroon is crucial and unknown hotspot of biodiversity of global importance and how it is important to protect the local nature. In the meantime, our Russian colleagues are working on many-plumed moths from our later expeditions, many more interesting discoveries can be already promised.

Adult specimens of newly described Alucita escobari (left) and Alucita janeceki (right).

Full reference: Ustjuzhanin P., Kovtunovich V., Sáfián Sz., Maicher V., Tropek R. (2018)A newly discovered biodiversity hotspot of many-plumed moths (Lepidoptera, Alucitidae) in the Mount Cameroon area: first report on species diversity, with description of nine new speciesZookeys 777: 119-139.