The current research is aimed at clarifying the identity of the tribes and subtribes of these two subfamilies, as well as determining whether they and their subtaxa are truly monophyletic. Currently most of the taxa included cannot be easily distinguished, and the largest groups, the Cryptorhynchina and Tylodina, are both almost certainly paraphyletic or polyphyletic. The work includes functional morphology, with the aim of identifying homologies (Lyal, 1995; Lyal & King, 1996; Lyal et al, 2006).
Much of the work is concentrated on the weevils feeding as larvae in the seend and fruit of tropical forest trees. The main areas of interest are the systematics and co-evolution of weevils on the oriental tree family Dipterocarpaceae. Work is also underway with Sara Pinzon (PhD student) in Panama using DNA barcoding to link larval and adults of weevils feeding in seeds there, and through this allow more detailed understanding of insect-seed associations and biology. A website discussing work in Thailand with my collaborator Jintana Bupabanpot can be found atDipterocarp seed insects in Thailand
Construction of a species-level catalogue of the ca.70,000 weevil species known, following successful completion of a catalogue to family-group and genus-group names in the superfamily (Alonso-Zarazaga & Lyal, 1999, 2002; Lyal & Alonso-Zarazaga 2006). The database currently holds some 100,000 names (http://wtaxa.csic.es/index.aspx) and is one of the 4 largest accessible through Species 2000. Following a first pass to acquire content from secondary sources we are now checking all citations against the original reference to ensure correct orthography and Code compliance. My main collaborator is Miguel Alonso-Zarazaga of MNCN, Madrid. SeeWTAXA - the World Electronic Catalogue of Weevil Names
The project aim is to enhance the availability of taxonomic and related biodiversity information through digitizing published taxonomic literature and creating a means of searching it. ‘INOTAXA’ is the result - a powerful interface to enable search and browse of taxonomic literature marked up in an XML script, taXMLit, developed as part of the project. The prototype is visible at http://www.inotaxa.org The project also digitized our major test publication, the Biologia Centrali-Americana, which is available on the web at http://www.sil.si.edu/digitalcollections/bca/. My main collaborator on this project is Dr Anna Weitzman, NMNH, Washington. Key web sites for the project are the prototype of the INOTAXA portalINOTAXA
and theThe Electronic Biologia Centrali-Americana
The latest version of the taXMLit schema can be found at
The weevil community, meeting at the Brisbane International Congress of Entomology, asked for a web 'home' where they could discuss weevil taxonomy, systematics, morphology and other matters of interest. This is now created as one of the EDIT 'scratchpads',The Weevil Community Website