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Four New Species of Rove Beetles Found in China

Feb 26, 2013 06:35 AM EST

Four new species of rove beetles have been discovered in the Ningxia Autonomous Region, China.

The new species - Stenus biwenxuani, Stenus liupanshanus, Dianous yinziweii, Dianous ningxiaensis - belong to the Steninae subfamily of the large family of rove beetles (Staphylinidae).  

A team of researchers discovered the species while they were exploring the insect fauna of the Liupan Shan Natural Reserve in China. The reserve is part of the Liupan Shan Mountains which is rich in biodiversity. Besides the four new species, researchers also recorded 11 Stenus species for the Ningxia province that were previously described.

"As far as the Steninae are concerned, Ningxia Autonomous Region is one of the most poorly explored regions, with merely two species being recorded until 2008. In the summer of 2008, a team surveyed the insect fauna of the Liupan Shan in southern Ningxia and collected a large number of Steninae," Dr. Liang Tang, from Shanghai Normal University, said in a statement.

"In this paper, we report the results of the study, which includes two new Stenus and two new Dianous species, and new province records for eleven Stenus species."

Rove beetles are found widely-distributed across the globe. The ones belonging to the Steninae family have a special ability wherein the secretions from the beetles' glands reduce surface tension and help them glide on water.

Of the four newly-found species, species that belong to the genus Dianous are experts in water gliding, while the other two that belong to the genus stenus partly have this ability. Stenus biwenxuani was found on shore and is therefore considered to be a water glider. Stenus liupanshanus lives in leaf litter and is believed not to have the ability to glide, according to a report in ScienceDaily.

Insects belonging to the Steninae subfamily have also developed special hunting techniques to catch their prey. Species in the genus Stenus can eject some of its mouth parts using blood pressure. The labium of these insects emanates an adhesive glue-like substance which sticks to the prey, preventing it from escaping.

The findings of the study are published in the journal Zookeys.

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