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Report 2 – Makay 2016 Mission

On the track towards the Makay massif - April 2016 (Source : B. GILLES)
On the track towards the Makay massif – April 2016 (Source : © B. GILLES)

My April 2016 exploration mission in the Makay massif ( to be discovered ici), led by Naturevolution and ProjetsPlusActions, had for objective to collect insects in order to inventory the entomo-fauna of this region whose knowledge still remains incomplete (My testimony on the site of Naturevolution : ici).

In a first report published in May (à lire here) presenting the course and feelings of this trip to the end of the world, I explained the important work of determining the specimens to be undertaken with world specialists of the various families, a project requiring several months. The purpose of this new report is to give a progress report on this work.

During the summer, specimens were classified by families and subfamilies (where possible), and entomologists interested and available to conduct the contacted determinations.

Here is a non-exhaustive inventory of the main families collected and identified to date, out of a total of 146 samples (several individuals of the same species have sometimes been packed together in the same tube).

Samples were recently sent to the following specialists:

  • Hans R. Feijen – Biologist at Terrestrial Zoology Department of Leiden (Netherlands) and fly specialist Diopsidae of Madagascar
  • Christophe Girod – specialist in African Dermaptera (earwig)
  • Eric Guilbert – Senior Lecturer at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris (MNHN), Institut de Systématique, Evolution et Biodiversité, and specialist in Hétéroptères Tingidae
  • Sylvain Hugel – Neurobiology at the CNRS and specialist in Orthoptera (find an interview here)
  • Pierre-Olivier Maquart – PhD at the University of Stirling (Scotland) and specialist in African Cerambycidae (an interview will soon be published)
  • Claire Villemant – MNHN researcher and Hymenoptera specialist
Inventory, non exhaustive, of the different families collected and identified (Source : B. GILLES-2016)
Inventory, non exhaustive, of the different families collected and identified (Source : B. GILLES-2016)

Formicidae are first studied by myself and then, if data are interesting, confirmed by Brian Fisher, Californian ant specialist.

Many other specimens are not yet in the determination phase: their study will be done in the coming months. Indeed, due to the poor knowledge of the Malagasy entomo-fauna, the absence of classification for many families and a lack of specialists, the determination of many specimens remains impossible.

While waiting for a return of the specimens and the first results, here is a photo album of the Makay 2016 mission…

  • You can also read my testimony on the Naturevolution website here.
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Recommendation of work and DVD on this theme

Makay : Discovering the latest Eden (Evrard Wendenbaum – Editions de La Martinière – 173 pages – November 17, 2011)

Makay, les aventuriers du monde perdu[Blu-ray 3D] (Evrard Wendenbaum & Pierre Stine – 98mn – 14 December 2011)



Benoît GILLES
Chargé de recherche – Entomologiste chez Cycle Farms