Weevils of the Papuan Region

lowland forest of Biak island

lowland forest of Biak island

A. Riedel with Huli wigmen

A. Riedel with Huli wigmen

Collecting weevils at 3.500m

Collecting weevils at 3.500m

<i>Basiliogeus dacrycarpi</i> Kuschel & Riedel

Basiliogeus dacrycarpi Kuschel & Riedel

<i>Pantorhytes</i> sp. with epizoic symbiosis

Pantorhytes sp. with epizoic symbiosis

New Guinea and its lesser surrounding islands harbour an extremely diverse yet little-explored weevil fauna (Curculionoidea). It is characterized by endemism on different hierarchic scales: most species occupy restricted areas such as a single mountain range or valley. Many genera, such as the colorful Eupholus and the spider-legged Arachnobas are confined to the Papuan region.

New Guinea vegetation spans from the steaming lowland forests to the tree line in the high mountains. The associated weevil fauna is usually distinct for each vegetational zone. Elements of a temperate Australian fauna occur at higher elevations. A peculiar association between weevils and plants cultivated on their backs for camouflage (epizoic symbiosis) is unique to the humid montane forests of New Guinea.

Our fieldwork in the Papuan region has been carried out since 1990, and numerous new species have been described since then. Nevertheless, thousands of undescribed species remain without a scientific name.

New Guinea as we know it today is a complex conglomerate of various geological units. The geological history had a profound influence on the evolution of Papuan weevils. It will be attempted to reconstruct this geological history by investigating the recent fauna of weevils.

Fieldwork is done in collaboration with the Universitas Cendrawasih (Abepura, Papua, Indonesia) and the Papua New Guinea Institute of Biological Research PNGIBR (Goroka, Papua New Guinea).

Lists of the Weevils of West New Guinea are provided by the Papua Insect Foundation.

There is some overlap with the project on the genus Trigonopterus funded by DFG grant RI 1817/3-1 from the German Research Foundation.

Selected Publications

Riedel A., Porion T. (2017):
A new species of Eupholus Boisduval from West New Guinea (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Zootaxa. 4263: 194-200
Van Dam M.H., Lam A.W., Sagata K., Gewa B., Laufa R., Balke M., Faircloth B.C., Riedel A. (2017):
Ultraconserved elements (UCEs) resolve the phylogeny of Australasian smurf-weevils. PLoS ONE. 12(11): e0188044
Toussaint E.F.A., Tänzler R., Rahmadi C., Balke M., Riedel A. (2015):
Biogeography of Australasian flightless weevils (Curculionidae, Celeuthetini) suggests permeability of Lydekker’s and Wallace’s Lines. Zoologica Scripta. 44: 632-644
Riedel A., Sagata K., Surbakti S., Tänzler R., Balke M. (2013):
One hundred and one new species of Trigonopterus weevils from New Guinea. ZooKeys. 280: 1-150
Eberle J., Tänzler R., Riedel A. (2012):
Revision and phylogenetic analysis of the Papuan weevil genus Thyestetha Pascoe (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Cryptorhynchinae). Zootaxa. 3355: 1-28
Kuschel G., Riedel A. (2011):
Basiliogeus dacrycarpi Kuschel & Riedel, sp. nov.. In: Kuschel, G. & Leschen, R. A. B. Phylogeny and taxonomy of the Rhinorhynchinae (Coleoptera: Nemonychidae), Invertebrate Systematics. 24: 589-590
Riedel A. (2010):
Two new species of Eupholus Boisduval (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Entiminae), with observations on coloured cuticular exudates in weevils. Zootaxa. 2338: 23-34
Riedel A., Daawia D., Balke M. (2010):
Deep cox1 divergence and hyperdiversity of Trigonopterus weevils in a New Guinea mountain range (Coleoptera, Curculionidae). Zoologica Scripta. 39: 63-74
Riedel A. (2009):
Revision of the genus Penthoscapha Heller (Coleoptera, Curculionoidea, Entiminae, Eupholini) with notes on the genera of Eupholini from New Guinea. Zootaxa. 2224: 1-29
Riedel A., Schönitzer K. (1996):
Revision of the soil-weevil genus Guineobius Osella from New Guinea (Coleoptera, Curculionoidea, Entiminae, Celeuthetini). Revue Suisse de Zoologie. 103: 1-22
Riedel A., O´Brien C.W. (1995):
A new species-group of Ottistira Pascoe from New Guinea (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae: Ottistirini). Invertebrate Taxonomy. 9: 247-277

Dr. Alexander Riedel, Dipl.-Biol.

Dr. Alexander Riedel, Dipl.-Biol.
Phone: +49 721 175-2836
E-Mail: riedel@smnk.de