Map of unrecognized species in Bembidiina

Here’s an addendum to the post about Unrecognized species in Bembidiina.  The map below shows the known distribution of most (but not all) of the unrecognized taxa of Bembidiina in America north of Mexico.  Notably absent are some of the coastal Notaphus, as well as some widespread forms such as “Bembidion kuprianovi” which consist of multiple species but I don’t know which ones are the recognized ones and which ones are unrecognized.  I should also note that the distribution of these species have not been mapped in detail; for the most part, the distributions shown below are of specimens whose DNA we have sequenced, and the full distributions of some of the species is broader.


Approximate distributions of some of the unrecognized species of Bembidiina in America north of Mexico.

As you can see, the vast majority of unrecognized taxa are in the west, especially in California.

Update: for comparison, here is the distribution of all species.  The pattern for recognized species has some similar properties to unrecognized species in that there are many more species in the west.  The primary reason that there are many recognized species in Canada (including British Columbia) but relatively few unrecognized ones is the excellent work of Lindroth (1963).


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9 Responses to Map of unrecognized species in Bembidiina

  1. Pingback: Unrecognized species of Bembidiina in the USA and Canada | The Subulate Palpomere

  2. very cool! do you think this pattern is related to the timing of colonization by europeans?

    • In part, perhaps. But the main issue is that there are simply WAY more species in the west, recognized and unrecognized. I’ll add a map to show that. Now as to why there are more species in the west in general, that’s another question. California in particular is ecological and geological very complex, and it the center of diversity of many groups of organisms.

      • hvfarmscape says:

        It’s interesting to note that the Southeast, despite whatever biogeographical history led to its abundance of another streamside resident, the salamanders, seems relatively impoverished.

      • huh that is cool do you think more recently changing geomorphology, etc could have anything to do with it- not just complexity but perhaps more recent change and therefore more recent adaptive radiation? just throwing things out there without fully thinking them through.. but the mountains are certainly much younger in the west

      • I do think that the changing landscape has played a role, and the newness of the mountains. For example, with those young, high mountains, you have all these snowfields and high, cold waterways that is a natural habitat for some lineages of Bembidiina. You don’t have similar habitats in the old, worn down mountains in the east.

  3. James C. Bergdahl says:

    Hi David,
    Do you know who Bembidion “kuprianovii” was named after, or its original collector? I am reading a great book on early exploration and colonization of North America’s Northwest Coast funded by Russian” interests” and I am curious if there is a connection.

    In my opinion, based on intensive surveys of carabid beetle communities along small forest streams over 30 years in the region, B. “kuprianovii” Mannerheim is probably one of the most widespread carabid species in the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, a number of cryptic species should perhaps be expected, especially since the “species” may have low dispersal power. For instance, I have never been able to find any specimens on ~60 San Juan (WA) or Gulf (BC) islands. Also, my expensive surveys over many years of the carabids of fauna of Vancouver Island produced only a few population records. Also, Lindroth (1961-69: p. 270) states for B. “kuprianovi” in British Columbia: “general distributed on the mainland: not seen from the islands”, which reinforces my observations. It is possible that many of them have compromised wing function or are exceptionally philopatric given their preference to smaller streams, one of my favorite topics regarding many endemic Pacific Northwest carabid beetle species.

    Its sister species, B. nigrocoeruleum Hayward does not seem to have made many inroads as far north as central Washington. I thought I found a population in the interior near Castlegar (BC) but Yves Bousquet looked at them and decided they were B. kuprianovi, I have hundreds of B. “kuprianovi” in my collection from the Pacific Northwest (BC, WA, ID, MT & BC). Some from Oregon, where I get less opportunity to collect.

    James Bergdahl
    Spokane, WA, USA

  4. James C. Bergdahl says:

    I do not have a copy of the original description, but Bembidion kuprianovii appears to be named after Ivan Kupreianov, or perhaps Kupreanof Island, which was named after Ivan. According to Lindroth (1961-69), Bembidion kuprianovii’s type locality is “Sitka, Kuprianoff”. Sitka is actually on Baranof Island, but the type may have actually been collection somewhere in the region and not necessarily at Sitka. I have been on both Baranof and Kupreanof islands a number of times (see below). Ivan Kupreianov is not mentioned in Owen Matthews, 2013, “Glorious misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the dream of a Russian America”, but many of the other Russian’s with place names in Alaska are.

    From Wikipedia: “Kupreanof Island is an island in the Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska. The island is 84 km (52 mi) long and 32 km (20 mi) wide with a total land area is 2,802.84 km2 (1,082.18 sq mi), making it the 13th largest island in the United States and the 170th largest island in the world. The Lindenberg Peninsula, on the southeast side of the island is considered part of the island. The peninsula is separated from the rest of the island by a narrow inlet called Duncan Canal. The island’s population was 785 at the 2000 census. The island was first charted in 1793-94 by James Johnstone and Joseph Whidbey, both part of George Vancouver’s 1791-95 expedition.[1] The island is named after Baron Ivan Antonovich Kupreianov, governor of the Russian American colonies from 1836 to 1840; the name was published in 1848 on a Russian Hydrographic Department chart as “Os(trov) Kupreyanova”.[2] The largest settlement on the island is Kake, on the northwestern side of the island. The only other city is Kupreanof, on the eastern side, across the Wrangell Narrows from the city of Petersburg on nearby Mitkof Island. The island lies within the limits of Tongass National Forest (Petersburg Ranger District). The Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness is a part of the forest that is located on the island.”

    I have actually been on Kupreanof Island a number of times; not for insect collecting unfortunately, but on salmon and halibut fishing boats to help pay for my graduate school expenses. Kake is not a “city”; it is a town, and the byways on the island are best described as dirt logging roads. Petersburg may qualify as a “city”, but even that is stretching it. I would not be surprised if Petersburg (AK) is named after St. Petersburg (Russia), the source of power and wealth when the Russians tried to colonize Alaska.

    Collecting streamside carabids in the wettest zones of the coastal temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest, such as southeast Alaska, is usually disappointing. After years of systematic sampling of streamside carabid communities in the region, my theory is that these streams are so “flashy” every month of the year that only a small subset of the Pacific Northwest’s hygrophilic carabid fauna is able to successfully maintain populations at such a level of disturbance. The immature stages are probably especially vulnerable to flooding and scourging of gravel beds. Bembidion “kuprianovii” is one of the species that is able to hold on along some of the flashiest reaches.

    There is probably a “sweet spot” along the continuum of stream hygrographs and riparian-zone disturbance where local Bembidion diversity peaks in the Pacific Northwest. There is of course much literature on the topic of level-of-disturbance and diversity regarding other taxa and ecosystems, but very little in the carabid beetle literature.

    James Bergdahl
    Conservation Biology Center
    919 S. Adams St.
    Spokane, WA, 99204

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