Saturday, 15 January 2011

Announcing a Name Change of a Planthopper

When I last blogged about this planthopper, it was known as Centromeria viridistigma.

Not anymore.

According to a recent revision done by Dr. Zhi-Shun Song and Al-Ping Liang at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, it now goes as Truncatomeria viridistigma. The new genus is endemic to Sri Lanka and is a monotypic one, which means there is only a single species that belong to it, which is T. viridistigma.

This revision appeared in Zootaxa 2740 in 2011 (in pages 24-34), under the title, "Two new genera and two new species of Oriental dictyopharid planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Dictyopharidae) from Sri Lanka and southern India." Here's a preview of this paper.

The above photograph is published in it with due credit to yours truly.

According to this paper, the new genus name is a combination of latin “truncat” plus the suffix “meria”, which means the head is more or less truncate at apex.

I photographed this planthopper in December, 2008 at the Sinharaja rain forest while guiding Dr. Richard Bishop and his wife Anne Bishop from Kenya. Its identity was narrowed down with a question mark as Centromeria viridistigma with the help of Dr. Priyantha Wijesinghe and Jerome Constant of the Department of Entomology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, an expert on Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha. This helped Dr. Song to find my image in the web. He then sought my permission to use this image for his article announcing this revision.

It is my first photograph to be published in this top zoological journal.

(Edited on 5 January, 2012.)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope the New Year will bring you peace, happiness and good health!

The endemic Chestnut-backed Owlet above was photographed last November at Kithulgala while guiding Dr. Wilf Powell and his wife Mrs. Julia Powell on a 14-day Absolute Birding tour. I am always careful when typing the name of this bird to avoid the embarrassing misspelling: Chestnut-baked Owlet!

I first heard mobbing calls smaller birds, typically made when a predator has been spotted. Scanning the centre of this commotion, I found this owlet, clearly startled by the abuse. When this species of owl is sighted front on, you often do not get to see its beautiful chestnut back. With its chestnut back to us, it rotated the head to look back at us. A really neat view.

This was our second Chestnut-backed Owlet for the trip. I shot it at 1/250 at ISO 4000 using Canon EOS1D Mark iv and Canon 100-400mm lens. I removed camera noise using Noiseware Professional.

1 Jan., 2011 marks my 34th birthday.
And, as usual, gifts are accepted at 146A, Pahala Bomiriya, Kaduwela, Sri Lanka.
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