Episode IV - A New Hope


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Dear Feedback,

Congratulations on your excellent Newsletter. On the occasion of my first visit to Hong Kong in June, 1992, I learned from David Dudgeon that a group of naturalists was planning publication of a biodiversity Newsletter. Later, I completely forgot about these plans, but a few weeks ago I incidently found Porcupine on the Web and I am now very positively surprised to see that this Newsletter has meanwhile placed itself among the most prolific biodiversity information sources in the tropical world.

Painfully, Porcupine! uncovers the fact, that the exploration of the Coleoptera fauna of Hong Kong has been neglected badly in the past, although some of the most productive beetle specialists of the 19th and 20th centuries lived in Britain. It is hard to understand, why the beetle fauna of Hong Kong remained so poorly studied until recently. The lack of a Natural History Museum and purely business-minded politics may provide some explanation. When I visited Hong Kong in 1992, almost 100% of the beetles inhabiting the running waters were new to science. Although some water beetle species (see e.g., JÄCH, M.A. & JI, L. (eds.): Water Beetles of China. Vol. I (1995), 410 pp.; Vol. II (1998), 371 pp.; Vol. III (2003), VI+572 pp. - Wien: Zoologisch-Botanische Gesellschaft in Österreich and Wiener Coleopterologenverein) and numerous Staphylinidae have been described from Hong Kong recently, its beetle fauna generally must still be regarded as very inadequately explored.

Dr. Manfred A. Jäch
Naturhistorisches Museum
Burgring 7, A-1014 Wien, Austria





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