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New to nature No 124: Ancyronyx buhid

01 / 06 / 2014, The Guardian

Spider water beetle found in the pristine streams of Mindoro island in the Philippines is a natural pollution indicatorRiffle beetles are found on all continents except Antarctica, and are well known to freshwater ecologists and anglers. In general, members of the riffle beetle family, Elmidae, live in fast-flowing, well-oxygenated streams, clinging to rocks, logs, or other submerged debris. They typically move slowly and methodically, employing their relatively long legs to maintain a grip, even in strong currents, while capturing organic debris as it flows past. Among the riffle beetles is a genus of about 20 known species, Ancyronyx, that have especially elongate limbs, earning them the common name spider water beetles.Spider water beetles are known in China, south and southeast Asia, and North America, with the largest concentration of species, 11 out of 20, in the Philippine archipelago. Although designation of the Philippines as a biodiversity "hot spot" has brought increased scrutiny of its flora and fauna, knowledge of the macroinvertebrates remains patchy. Continue reading...

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