Hilda Sakiti Waqa - Institute of Applied Science
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Researcher: Hilda Sakiti Waqa
Thesis title: Taxonomy, Phylogenetics and Biogeography of the Fijian long-horned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)
Supervisors: Dr. Richard Winkworth (USP), Dr Steve Trewick (Massey University, NZ), and Dr. Steve Lingafelter (Smithsonian Institute, USA).
The long-horned beetle family Cerambycidae is one of the largest. But despite its popularity amongst entomologists relatively little is known about the Fijian taxa. A survey by Dillon & Dillon (1952) recorded 120 species in Fiji of which approximately 98% are unknown elsewhere. In addition to the unique character of the Fijian cerambycid fauna overall it also contains the world’s second largest beetle. Xixuthrus heros can grow to ~15cm in length, however little else is known about this rare and possibly endangered endemic.