by Ian S. Embradura
Contrary to expert opinion that there is a high diversity of the mayfly species (ephemeroptera) in the country, only 37 have been described in the Philippines, all of which were done by foreign researchers. This interested graduate student Leocris S. Batucan Jr. to pursue such endeavor for his master’s thesis.
There is a lack of detailed description and identification of ephemeroptera in the Philippines, especially from local researchers. Mayflies do not even have a local name, revealing of how it is not widely known even for Filipinos.
Batucan, after two expeditions at the Layawan River in Mt. Malindang Natural Park, has added six novel species to the mayfly specie. Given such privilege of discovery, he named them accordingly: Afronurus ayayti sp. nov. (from IIT), Atopopus pisay sp. nov.(from Philippine Science High School or PiSci, Batucan’s high school alma mater) , Afronurus albentis sp. no.v, sparsorythus buntawensis sp. nov., Dudgeodes subanen sp. nov. (from Subanen), and Chroterpes striatafemoris sp. nov. With Batucan’s contribution, there are now 13 known mayfly species from Mindanao.
His paper, “DNA Barcode and Morphological Description of Ephemeroptera from Layawan River, Mt. Malindang”, was presented at the 13th MSU-IIT Bi-annual In-House Review of Research and Development Projects on October 9, 2015, where it also won Best Paper.
Batucan is an MS Biology student and he co-authored with his advisers Prof. Olga M. Nuñeza and Prof. Chung-Ping Lin of National Taiwan Normal University in the writing of the paper.