Systematics and evolution of the weevil genus Trigonopterus

Sample of edaphic weevils from lowland forest of New Guinea

Sample of edaphic weevils from lowland forest of New Guinea

13 Species of <i>Trigonopterus</i> from the Cyclops Mts.

13 Species of Trigonopterus from the Cyclops Mts.

<i>T. caudatus</i> from New Caledonia

T. caudatus from New Caledonia

<i>T. vandekampi</i> Riedel

T. vandekampi Riedel

The flightless weevil genus Trigonopterus Fauvel (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Cryptorhynchinae) is extremely diverse in New Guinea, New Caledonia and the Pacific Islands. Currently, there exist 341 described species worldwide, but this number will markedly increase after a revision has been completed. The island of New Guinea alone harbors an estimated 500-1000 species based on the material at hand. Thus, Trigonopterus belongs to the list of hyperdiverse genera, such as the tiger-beetles of Cicindela, or the ants of the genus Pheidole.

East of Wallace-line various species are dominant both on foliage and in the litter layer of primary tropical forests. Towards the west, diversity not only decreases, but foliage-frequenting species disappear. In Java, Trigonopterus are restricted to the litter layer. Usually, the species are highly endemic. The Javanese fauna of Trigonopterus consists of two or three monophyletic groups that presumably arrived independently from the East. Dispersal patterns in the eastern part of the distribuational range are still unknown.

We document the diversity of Trigonopterus by an approach of accelerated taxonomy combining molecular and morphological methods (aka "turbo-taxonomy"). We work on a robust phylogeny in collaboration with the Balke Beetle Lab. Details of the morphology of Trigonopterus are investigated by µCT and 3D reconstruction (in collaboration with T. van de Kamp). The results of these studies will help to explain characteristics of its biogeography and ecology. Certain key-characters will be traced on the phylogeny and may offer explanations for the causes of its hyperdiversity.

This project is funded by grants RI 1817/3-1, RI 1817/3-3, and RI 1817/3-4 from the German Research Foundation (DFG).

For additional information see:

Selected Publications

Toussaint E.F.A., Tänzler R., Balke M., Riedel A. (2017):
Transoceanic origin of microendemic and flightless New Caledonian weevils. Royal Society Open Science. 4: 1-11
Riedel A., Tänzler R. (2016):
Revision of the Australian species of the weevil genus Trigonopterus Fauvel. ZooKeys. 556: 97-162
Tänzler R., van Dam M.H., Toussaint E.F.A., Suhardjono Y.R., Balke M., Riedel A. (2016):
Macroevolution of hyperdiverse flightless beetles reflects the complex geological history of the Sunda Arc. Scientific Reports. 6:18793: 1-12
Van Dam M., Laufa R., Riedel A. (2016):
Four new species of Trigonopterus Fauvel from the island of New Britain (Coleoptera, Curculionidae). ZooKeys. 582: 129-141
van de Kamp T., Cecilia A., dos Santos Rolo T., Vagovič P., Baumbach T., Riedel A. (2015):
Comparative thorax morphology of death-feigning flightless cryptorhynchine weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) based on 3D reconstructions. Arthropod structure & Development. 44: 509-523
Riedel A., Tänzler R., Balke M., Rahmadi C., Suhardjono Y.R. (2014):
Ninety-eight new species of Trigonopterus weevils from Sundaland and the Lesser Sunda Islands. ZooKeys. 467: 1-162
Tänzler R., Toussaint E.F.A., Suhardjono Y.R., Balke M., Riedel A. (2014):
Multiple transgressions of Wallace´s Line explain diversity of flightless Trigonopterus weevils on Bali. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 281
van de Kamp T., dos Santos Rolo T., Vagovič P., Baumbach T., Riedel A. (2014):
Three-dimensional reconstructions come to life – interactive 3D PDF animations in functional morphology. PLOS ONE. 9: e102355
Riedel A., Sagata K., Suhardjono Y.R., Tänzler R., Balke M (2013):
Integrative taxonomy on the fast track - towards more sustainability in biodiversity research. Frontiers in Zoology. 10:15
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
Riedel A. (2011):
The weevil genus Trigonopterus Fauvel (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) and its synonyms – a taxonomic study on the species tied to its genus-group names. Zootaxa. 2977: 1-49
Riedel A. (2010):
One of a thousand - a new species of Trigonopterus (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Crytorhynchinae) from New Guinea. Zootaxa. 2403: 59-68
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