Foreword to the second volume

Posted on February 20th, 2010 by webmaster.

The second volume of the illustrated catalogue of prionids is devoted to South and Central America. It follows the first book, which illustrated more than one hundred species worldwide of this families that has between 1200 and 1300 species.

Every year, approximately 10 new species are described, thanks to Monné, Hovore, Galileo & Martins, Bleuzen, Marazzi, Tavakilian, Touroult & Chalumeau… who follow the well known fore-runners Audinet-Serville, Bates, Casey, Gahan, Lameere, LeConte, Thomson, Tippmann, Waterhouse, or more recently Chevrolat and Quentin & Villiers.

Ivo Jeniš again presents here more than one hundred species among 325 in the region. The pictures are beautiful, emphasizing the smallest details and colours, and many species are shown here for the first time.

The specialist of this fascinating subfamily of cerambycidae might in some instance discuss the determination of rare species. In fact, many tribes and synonyms are not yet fixed. The last revision could be very old and even the holotypes might be lost. Genus like Prionacalus and Psalidognathus can be impossible to classify. Of note, not only the holotypes of several species are lost, but also the syntypes do not refer to the original description in the first publication.

Other reader will appreciate the illustrations of the largest and the smallest species and discover that some of them wear beautiful colours. Prioninae, especially from South and Central America, are among the largest coleoptera in the world. Titanus giganteus is obviously the largest of all, only Dynastes hercules (184mm) and Macrodontia cervicornis, another prioninae, are longer. In fact this subfamily has most of the giant beetles in the world (table of Prioninae over 100mm in length). On the other hand, colourful and tiny species also belong to Prioninae, especially among Anacolini.

— Aimery de Gramont

Paris, February 2009

Book rating: 
5

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