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A 130-year-old specimen brought back to life: the bee-mimicking Heterosphecia tawonoides (Sesiidae: Osminiini) mud-puddles amongst bees in Peninsular Malaysia's rainforest

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Abstract

Heterosphecia tawonoides Kallies, a "lost" species of clearwing moth known only from a single specimen from 1887 (the holotype, which is missing important morphological features), was observed and filmed for the first time in its natural habitat. Our studies have shown that it is associated with Malaysian primary lowland dipterocarp forests, ecosystems which are vanishing rapidly due to extensive human activity. This is the first record of H. tawonoides in Malaysia. Behavioral aspects, such as mud-puddling among bees and acoustic mimicry, are discussed and shown in a video. A morphological redescription, including features visible on live individuals only, is provided. The DNA barcode sequence is given, with comparison to closely related species.

Citation

Skowron Volponi, M.A. & Volponi, P. (2017). A 130-year-old specimen brought back to life: the bee-mimicking Heterosphecia tawonoides (Sesiidae: Osminiini) mud-puddles amongst bees in Peninsular Malaysia's rainforest. Tropical Conservation Science 10: pp. 7
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