Species key

An interactive species key will be presented here once data analyses are finalized. Due to the Corona pandemic there are several museums which have problems in providing specimen loans. This is fully understandable, there are more important issues during these times than sending out beetles. Overall, this delays my work on Vatesus taxonomy but I am confident to provide solid species identifications in the coming years.  For now I can only recommend to use the latest species keys by Seevers (1965) and Borgmeier (1961) - please contact me if you need help. 

As pointed out in the project objectives, however, species identifications are difficult with existing keys. It is my goal to provide a more easily usable, robust species key. For each step in the key, I will provide visual illustrations of characters by integrating a combination of drawings, high-quality 2-D images and 3-D models, exemplifying the differences of presented characters. For now I only present the characters allowing to sort specimens into four distinct Vatesus groups - a distinction suggested by Borgmeier and Seevers. 

Vatesus groups.jpg

Separation of Vatesus beetles into four distinct groups. Illustrations are adapted from Seevers and Borgmeier. The provisional sketch of hypomeral ventral view will be updated with more realistic drawings in the near future.  Photos of slide-mounted material shows ventral view of V. gigas (group I) and V. rettenmeyeri (group II). Photos were kindly provided by S. Yamamoto. The number of formally described species as well as published host genus records are given for each group.