A closer look at the newly discovered salagubang species in Davao

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Culture

Something you might look out for the next time you hike the Davao Mountains

ANCX staff | 20 November 2021

When it comes to insects, no one can beat the beetle or the salagubang– with regard to the number of species. You’ve probably encountered a few of these creatures when you were kids making them fight, or when you tasted them as exotic cuisine in the North.

There are currently 400,000 species of salagubangs inhabit the earth according to National Geographic. They are found on all continents except Antarctica. They can live in both wet and dry places and come in different sizes – some are too small to see; others are too big to fit in a human hand.

Pachyrhynchus obomanuvu. Photo courtesy of Dr Ann Cabras

Salagubangs are unique and colorful, making them a favorite with scientists around the world. They feed on plants, manure, but also dead animals and humans.

About 7,000 types can be found in the Philippines and over 400 in the Davao region alone. Despite this, it seems that many more are begging to be discovered. “It’s like every time we go out into the field, we discover at least one new species,” Dr Analyn Cabras, beetle, told NatGeo.

In fact, our scientists recently discovered three fascinating new species of “Easter Egg” beetles in the Davao region. They come in such beautiful iridescent colors and eye-catching prints that you’d think an artist painted them painstakingly.

Metapocyrtus salesi
Metapocyrtus salesi. Photo courtesy of Dr Anthony Sales

The first type of weevil is “Pachyrhynchus obomanuvu”, named in honor of the Obu Manuvu tribe of Davao city. These are distinguished by their dark burnished red color and their greenish markings reminiscent of the traditional clothing of the Obu Manuvus. They were discovered in the mountainous regions of Mindanao, particularly in the ancestral domain of Obu Manuvu west of the city of Davao, said Dr Milton Medina, director of the Institute for Biodiversity and the Environment. from the University of Mindanao. Medina was part of the research group that discovered the new beetle.

‘Metapocyrtus salesi’, known for its black and pale green markings, was named after Dr Anthony Sales, regional director of the Department of Science and Technology in Region XI. This is in honor of his contribution to the advancement of research.

Metapocyrtus (Orthocyrtus) davaoensis
Metapocyrtus (Orthocyrtus) davaoensis. Photo from DENR Davao Facebook page

The third beetle is the “Metapocyrtus (Orthocyrtus) davaoensis”. Unlike other beetle species, this one was discovered in an urban area of ​​Davao City, specifically Calinan.

According to Dr. Cabras, said beetles do not fly. “Hindi sila makapunta in ibang lugar ng madalian. Yes matatagpuan lamang sila, its Mount Apo, most likely doon talaga sila matatagpuanShe said in an interview with TV Patrol. Beetles are also hard to find. “You have to be very, very careful,” Cabras told National Geographic. “If they feel you coming, they fall to the ground. “

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