Michael Balke

Michael Balke
Zoologische Staatssammlung München · Department of Entomology

Dr.

About

524
Publications
106,844
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7,165
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Introduction
I like spicy food and hot weather. I also love my family. I do like to go to far away places where there are no people and where nobody ever looked for insects.
Additional affiliations
October 2008 - present
Zoologische Staatssammlung München
Position
  • Curator of Coleoptera

Publications

Publications (524)
Article
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Two new species of the diving beetle genus Liodessus Guignot, 1939 are described from high mountain regions in Venezuela: Liodessus meridensis sp. nov. from Laguna de Mucabají, Mérida and L. venezuelensis sp. nov. from Laguna de Mucabají and below Pico Bolívar, Mérida. We delineate the species using morphological characters such as male genital str...
Article
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The diving beetle Borneodessus zetteli kalimantanensis Balke, Hendrich, Mazzoldi & Biström, 2002, an endemic species of Borneo, is recorded for the first time from Sarawak. The specimen was collected from submerged rootlets of a large shore tree from the Pa’ Ngaruren River (Kelabit Highland, Sarawak) with Neptosternus kodadai Hendrich & Balke, 1997...
Article
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Background The New Guinean archipelago has been shaped by millions of years of plate tectonic activity combined with long-term fluctuations in climate and sea level. These processes combined with New Guinea’s location at the tectonic junction between the Australian and Pacific plates are inherently linked to the evolution of its rich endemic biota....
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We provide the first records of the diving beetles Hydrovatus subrotundatus Motschulsky, 1859 and Hydrovatus pu-dicus (Clark, 1863) from Taiwan. They are otherwise widespread in Southeast Asia. The habitats of both species and the associated diving beetle fauna are briefly described. Altogether eight species of the genus Hydrovatus are now recorded...
Article
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We present the first distributional record of Copelatus chevrolati Aubé, 1838 from Cuba. Four specimens were collected in a light trap in August 2016 on the Isla de La Juventud. Ten species of Copelatus are now known from Cuba. We present a modified key to the Cuban species of Copelatus.
Article
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Liodessus picinus sp. nov. is described from the Páramo de Sumapaz near Bogota D.C. at 3,500 m above sea level. The species can be distinguished from the other Colombian Liodessus species by its dark colora-tion, discontinuous habitus, shiny surface of the pronotum and elytron, presence of a distinct occipital line, distinct basal pronotal striae,...
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Adephaga is the second largest suborder of Coleoptera and contains aquatic and terrestrial groups that are sometimes classified as Hydradephaga and Geadephaga, respectively. The phylogenetic relationships of Adephaga have been studied intensively, but the relationships of the major subgroups of Geadephaga and the placement of Hygrobiidae within Dyt...
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We review Dineutus helleri Ochs, 1925, a whirligig beetle species endemic to New Guinea’s north coast mountains. Its diagnostic characters are illustrated for easy species identification. We provide a summary and geographic interpretation of historical records, provide new records and, for the first time, habitat photographs for the subspecies D. h...
Article
Bidessus migrator Sharp, 1882, so far assigned to Clypeodytes Régimbart, 1894, and widely distributed in Australia and New Guinea, is re-described. Based on morphological and molecular evidence, it is here transferred to Leiodytes Guignot, 1936. Bidessus loriae Régimbart, 1892 is found to be a junior subjective synonym of L. migrator. We describe t...
Preprint
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Invertebrate biodiversity remains poorly explored although it comprises much of the terrestrial animal biomass, more than 90% of the species-level diversity, supplies many ecosystem services. Increasing anthropogenic threads also require regular monitoring of invertebrate communities. The main obstacle is specimen- and species-rich samples consisti...
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New distributional records of the rarely collected diving beetle Rhantus simulans Régimbart, 1908, an endemic species of south-western Australia, are presented. We also summarize what is known about its habitat. The occurrence of R. simulans indicates a high conservation value of the sampled wetland. For easier identification, we provide photograph...
Article
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The diving beetle genus Neobidessodes Hendrich & Balke, 2009 contains 10 species. Nine of them were considered endemic to Australia, one of them to the Trans Fly Savanna and Grasslands Ecoregion of New Guinea island. Here, we provide the first report of one of the Australian species, Neobidessodes mjobergi (Zimmermann, 1922), from the same region o...
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Seven new species of the genus Exocelina Broun, 1886 are described from three different mountain ranges of New Guinea: E. foja sp. nov. , E. riberai sp. nov. , E. apistefti sp. nov. , and E. waaf sp. nov. from the Foja Mountains; E. hudsoni sp. nov. from the Cyclops Mountains; E. ekpliktiki sp. nov. and E. oraia sp. nov. from Wano Land. All of them...
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The first account of the genus Copelatus Erichson, 1832 in the Solomon Islands is provided, reporting 10 species for the Archipelago. Six of these are new to science: C. baranensis sp. nov. , C. laevipennis sp. nov. , C. urceolus sp. nov. , and C. variistriatus sp. nov. from Guadalcanal and C. bougainvillensis sp. nov. , and C. kietensis sp. nov. f...
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Three new species of the genus Exocelina Broun, 1886: E. brazza sp. nov. , E. amabilis sp. nov. and E. mimika sp. nov. are described from New Guinea. The former two species are placed into the E. ekari group, while the latter is suggested to be a member of a separate lineage, the newly introduced E. skalei group. The only other species of that grou...
Article
We provide the first report of the Nearctic diving beetle subfamily Coptotominae Van den Branden, 1885 for the Paleactic Region, based on † Coptotomus balticus sp. n. from Baltic amber. Coptotomus Say, 1830 is otherwise distributed with five extant species and one subspecies in the Nearctic Region. The new species is the smallest species of the gen...
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Morphology and mitochondrial DNA sequence data are used to reassess the taxonomy of Australian diving beetles previously assigned to the genera Uvarus Guignot, 1939 and Gibbidessus Watts, 1978. Gibbidessus was described as a monotypic genus for Gibbidessus chipi Watts, 1978. The genus is significantly extended here. Based on molecular systematic ev...
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Tropical mountain forests contribute disproportionately to terrestrial biodiversity but little is known about insect diversity in the canopy and how it is distributed between tree species. We sampled tree-specific arthropod communities from 28 trees by canopy fogging and analysed beetle communities which were first morphotyped and then identified b...
Article
We describe four new species of the diving beetle genus Liodessus Guignot from the high Andean regions of Peru: Liodessus alpinus sp. nov. from Junín, L. hauthi sp. nov. from Huánuco and Churubamba, L. rhigos sp. nov. from Junín, and L. thespesios sp. nov. from Cusco. We delineate the species using morphological structures and provide a 5' mitochon...
Article
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Two new species of the genus Exocelina Broun, 1886: E. athesphatos sp. nov. and E. tsinga sp. nov. are described from New Guinea and placed into the E. ekari group based on the structure of their male genitalia. The two species are very similar with respect to their external morphology and characterised by almost identical, strongly modified male a...
Article
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The diving beetles Liodessus altoperuensis sp. nov. and Liodessus caxamarca sp. nov. (Dytiscidae, Hydroporinae, Bidessini) are described from the high altitudes of the Puna regions of north western Peru. They occur in shallow and exposed mossy peatland puddles. We delineate the two species using structures such as male genitalia, beetle size, shape...
Article
Burmese amber is well known for preserving unique extinct lineages of insects. Here, we describe a new fossil beetle in its larval stage from Burmese amber. Bayesian and parsimony phylogenetic analysis of 50 morphological characters support this fossil as being sister to both the tribes Dineutini and Orectochilini, representing an extinct stem line...
Article
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Wallace's Line, located in the heart of the Indo‐Australian archipelago, has historically been hypothesized to strongly inhibit dispersal. Taxa crossing this barrier are confronted with different biota of Asian or Australian origin, respectively, but the extent to which these conditions have affected the evolution of the colonizing lineages remains...
Article
We discovered a new species of the genus Hydaticus Leach, 1817, subgenus Prodaticus Sharp, 1882 (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) in the unidentified material of the Muséum National d´Histoire Naturelle, Paris. The type specimens were collected near Kourou in French Guiana, and are here described as Hydaticus (Prodaticus) kourouensis sp. n. The new species...
Article
Here we describe Limbodessus skalei sp. nov. from the island of Waigeo, off the coast of West Papua. It can be easily distinguished from the nearby New Guinea mainland species as well as the other members of the genus by its small size and testaceous elytra with conspicuous darker broad basal and subapical patches. Altogether four Limbodessus speci...
Article
Archdukes, barons, counts, dukes and marquises are forest-dwelling butterflies found in mainland Asia and most islands of the Indo-Australian archipelago west of Wallace’s Line, with only a few species occurring as far east as the Bismarck Archipelago. This pattern is unusual among butterfly groups of the region, which often present more widespread...
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We describe a new subterranean species of the genus Exocelina Broun, 1886 (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) from the Malay Peninsula. Almost all of the 196 species of that genus are epigean and distributed mainly in New Guinea, Australia, Oceania and New Caledonia. One epigean species is, however, known from China. The discovery of a species on the Malay Pe...
Article
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The diving beetle Methles cribratellus (FAIRMAIRE, 1880) is recorded for the second time from Sardinia, which represents the third record of the species in Italy. Four specimens have been collected among dense mats of floating grasses at two spots of an old drainage ditch system, with eutrophic water, in the river valley of the Riu di San Giovanni,...
Article
Burmese amber is well known for preserving unique extinct lineages of insects. Here, we describe a new fossil beetle in its larval stage from Burmese amber. Bayesian and parsimony phylogenetic analysis of 50 morphological characters support this fossil as being sister to both the tribes Dineutini and Orectochilini, representing an extinct stem line...
Article
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How to cite this article: Balke M., Toledo M., Gröhn C., Rappsilber I., Hendrich L. 2019. † Electruphilus wendeli gen.n., sp.n.-the first diving beetle recorded from Saxonian (Bitterfeld) Amber (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae: Laccophilinae) // Russian Entomol.
Article
The evolution of the coleopteran suborder Adephaga is discussed based on a robust phylogenetic background. Analyses of morphological characters yield results nearly identical to recent molecular phylogenies, with the highly specialized Gyrinidae placed as sister to the remaining families, which form two large, reciprocally monophyletic subunits, th...
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The order Coleoptera (beetles) is arguably the most speciose group of animals, but the evolutionary history of beetles, including the impacts of plant feeding (herbivory) on beetle diversification, remain poorly understood. We inferred the phylogeny of beetles using 4,818 genes for 146 species, estimated timing and rates of beetle diversification u...
Article
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The genus Copelatus in Australia is revised and nine species are recognised. One new species, Copelatus martinbaehrisp. nov. , is described from Papua New Guinea (Central Province) and Cape York Peninsula (Iron Range NP and Mt Tozer). Copelatus divisus Watts, 1978, syn. nov. , is considered a junior synonym of C. portior Guignot, 1956, described fr...
Article
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Based on recent fieldwork, the hyperdiverse weevil genus Trigonopterus Fauvel is recorded for the first time from the Indonesian Tanimbar Archipelago, halfway between Australia and Western New Guinea. All seven species discovered on Tanimbar are new to science, and described here: Trigonopterus atufsp. nov. , T. kumbangsp. nov. , T. laratensissp. n...
Article
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The Colombian species of the genus Rhantus are reviewed. Rhantus bogotensis sp. nov. is described and illustrated, based on specimens collected in the Altiplano of the Bogota region. It is compared with the similar species Rhantus franzi, R. vicinus, and R. crypticus. The Ecuadorian species Rhantus crypticus was found for the first time in the high...
Article
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The diving beetle Rhantus blancasi Guignot, 1955 (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae, Colymbetinae) was until now only known from older reports from Pasco region, Peru. Here, we provide new distributional data from Cuzco and Junin regions, habitat information, and illustrations of diagnostic characters for the easy identification of the species.
Article
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Nine new species groups of Exocelina Broun, 1886 from New Guinea are introduced with keys to their representatives. Four groups are monotypic and include three new species: the E. aipomek group, the E. koroba group: E. korobasp. nov. , the E. mekilensis group: E. mekilensissp. nov. , and the E. morobensis group: E. morobensissp. nov. The remaining...
Article
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The first dated phylogeny of the weevil subfamily Cryptorhynchinae is presented within a framework of Curculionoidea. The inferred pattern and timing of weevil family relationships are generally congruent with previous studies, but our data are the first to suggest a highly supported sister‐group relationship between Attelabidae and Belidae. Our bi...
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Understanding processes that have driven the extraordinary high level of biodiversity in the tropics is a long-standing question in biology. Here we try to assess whether the large lineage richness found in a New Guinean clade of mayflies (Ephemeroptera), namely the Thraulus group (Leptophlebiidae) could be associated with the recent orogenic proce...
Article
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We review the Peruvian Hydaticus Leach, 1817 (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) and describe Hydaticus panguana sp. nov. from Huánuco Department. In the context of this work, we also provide new country records for several species: Hydaticus lateralis Laporte, 1835 (for Peru, Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname); H. xanthomelas (Brullé, 1837) (for Peru); H. subfasci...
Data
The world´s largest diving beetle, a female of Megadytes ducalis Sharp, in the collection Régimbart, Paris.
Article
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Megadytes (Bifurcitus) ducalis Sharp, 1882 is the largest diving beetle in the world and has been considered a candidate for the world’s rarest insect (Jones 2010). It was described from "Brazil", is only known from the male holotype in the Natural History Museum (London), and typically thought to be extinct. Here we report the finding of 10 additi...
Article
The subfamily Saprininae is a group of moderately large histerid beetles that exhibits remarkable morphological and biological diversity. Although all species are predaceous, feeding on larvae of flies and other arthropods, numerous ecologically diverse lineages appeared during the evolution of the group, including taxa adapted for life in sand. Th...
Article
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This study summarizes results of a DNA barcoding campaign on German Diptera, involving analysis of 45,040 specimens. The resultant DNA barcode library includes records for 2,453 named species comprising a total of 5,200 BINs, including 2,700 CO1 haplotype clusters without species level assignment, so called “dark taxa”. Overall, 88 out of 117 famil...
Article
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Our understanding of the origin and evolution of the astonishing Neotropical biodiversity remains somewhat limited. In particular, decoupling the respective impacts of biotic and abiotic factors on the macroevolution of clades is paramount to understand biodiversity assemblage in this region. We present the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny f...
Article
Full-text available
The subfamily Saprininae is a group of moderately large histerid beetles that exhibits remarkable morphological and biological diversity. Although all species are predaceous, feeding on larvae of flies and other arthropods, numerous ecologically diverse lineages appeared during the evolution of the group, including taxa adapted for life in sand. Th...
Article
We provide the first report of the subfamily Laccophilinae Gistel, 1848 from Baltic amber, based on a female specimen collected in Russia, Kaliningrad Region, Yantarnii (Jantarny) mine. This specimen represents a new species and could be assigned to the extant genus Japanolaccophilus Satô, 1972. To date this genus was monotypic with one species in...
Article
The beetle superfamily Dytiscoidea, placed within the suborder Adephaga, comprises six families. The phylogenetic relationships of these families, whose species are aquatic, remain highly contentious. In particular the monophyly of the geographically disjunct Aspidytidae (China and South Africa) remains unclear. Here we use a phylogenomic approach...
Article
The Colombian species of the diving beetle genus Liodessus Guignot, 1939 Guignot, F. (1939), ‘Contribution à l’étude des Bidessus’, Bulletin de la Société d’Étude des Sciences Naturelles de Vaucluse, 10(4), 51–61. [Google Scholar] are revised. Liodessus bogotensis Guignot, 1953 Guignot, F. (1953), ‘Trente-neuvième note sur les hydrocanthares’, Revu...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Colombian species of the diving beetle genus Liodessus Guignot, 1939 are revised. Liodessus bogotensis Guignot, 1953 is re-described. Three higher altitude species are new to science: Liodessus azufralis sp. n., L. quillacinga sp. n. and L. quimbaya sp. n. We also introduce two new subspecies, L. quillacinga cochaensis ssp. n. and L. quillacing...
Article
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We present the results of a DNA barcoding pipeline that was established as part of the German-Indonesian IndobioSys project - Indonesian Biodiversity Information System. Our data release provides the first large-scale diversity assessment of Indonesian coleoptera obtained by canopy fogging. The project combined extensive fieldwork with databasing,...
Article
Disjunct geographical ranges are striking features, often difficult to comprehend without an evolutionary framework. The butterfly genus Charaxes Ochsenheimer, 1816 presents such a fragmented distribution, being distributed from the Mediterranean region, throughout Africa and into the Indo-Australian archipelago, albeit being absent from the northe...
Article
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Philaccolilus sagatai sp.n. is described from the Bewani Mountains of Papua New Guinea. The lotic species was collected from sandy banks of a lowland rainforest stream. Important species characters (median lobe, colour pattern, microreticulation of the pronotal and elytral base, and hind margin of sternum 5 and 6) are figured. Altogether 13 species...