Featured Researcher

Anita Rukmane-Bārbale

PhD candidate in Entomology, Daugavpils University, Daugavpils, Latvia - 2018 to present

Master of Biology, Daugavpils University, Warsaw University of Life Sciences - 2018

Bachelor of Biology, Daugavpils University - 2016

Research interests

Systematics and taxonomy of tropical weevils, with specialization on Oriental Entiminae. Species diversity, distribution, mimetic relationship of tropical Coleoptera.

First, I fell in love with the weevils during practical field courses in entomology, when my supervisor introduced our bachelor course to a huge tropical weevil collection at Daugavpils University. I was fascinated by the diversity of shapes, colours, and the big mystery of it all. The collection contained large amounts of unprepared material, also all species were mixed together. Professor gave me some books on weevil morphology, a lot of photos of type specimens, references to literature sources, and I began my huge journey in the field called ‘’taxonomy of the genus Pachyrhynchus’’.

After montage work for hundreds of specimens, I began my taxonomic research. It all started from a species called Pachyrhynchus orbifer Waterhouse. I learned how to extract genitalia, learned species boundaries, how to do photo-stacking, and a lots of other things. By the end of my Bachelor's degree, my supervisor and I described nine new species of Pachyrhynchus.

It was a success, but I can’t compare my first manuscript with the ones I am producing now. Since then, I have visited the largest museums of Europe seeking type specimens, I have practiced and learned new skills and new methods for species diversification studies, participated in projects, and also learned how to be a supervisor for students both in leading research or giving lectures and practical work in entomology and zoology. I have raised my practical entomology skills during three expeditions to natural habitats of the Oriental weevils: tropical mountains of the Mindanao Island, Philippines.

During seven years of work on the taxonomy of Oriental weevils, I have described and co-authored 39 weevil species of various genera: Pachyrhynchus, Macrocyrtus, Eupachyrhynchus, Celebia, and lately on Apocyrtus and Pseudapocyrtus. In addition to my taxonomic research, I have also contributed to notes on distribution and ecology.

Currently, I am finishing my PhD on the systematics and distribution of Pachyrhynchus (Curculionidae, Entiminae, Pachyrhynchini). These mega-diverse weevils, famous mimicry models, have attracted interest of many entomologists all over the world, and I am one of them. Even though an increase in family members is and will take a lot of my time, I look forward to spending more years on the taxonomy of Philippine Entiminae to expand knowledge of this mega-diverse group.

I have written and co-authored more than 20 papers, all are freely available at my ResearchGate profile.

I am always open for cooperation and with pleasure will answer questions at anita.rukmane@du.lv

Last updated March 24, 2022