Specialists at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Munich (ZSM) have been studying Panguana representatives of selected butterfly groups for years, for example of the families Geometridae, Saturniidae and Sphingidae. Soon these investigations will include molecular methods. The Panguana micromoths (Microlepidoptera) alone are estimated to amount to around 15,000 species.
‘Woolly bear’ moths
Since 2014 a Peruvian student has been addressing the biology and faunistics of ‘woolly bear’ moths (Arctiidae), of which there are more than 300 species at Panguana.
The list of butterfly species created by Juliane Diller in her diploma thesis on the colouring of carrion- and excrement-eating butterflies of Panguana is continuously revised and supplemented.
The caterpillars of Panguana are fascinating and extraordinarily diverse in their shapes and colors. Attempts to identify them morphologically usually end at the family level, often even above the latter. Since the year 2015 caterpillars are collected systematically and analyzed with molecular methods, in cooperation with the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at Guelph, Canada, in...
In the various types of waterbodies at Panguana aquatic insects are extremely diverse. Water beetles and their biology have been one special research focus recently.
Dragonflies and damselflies
Panguana’s current tally of more than 80 odonate species already is higher than the one for all of Germany. Researchers at ZSM have been working on these fascinating insects, and on the biology of their larvae, for a long time, and soon will receive assistance from the California Department of Food & Agriculture, Sacramento (USA).
Orchid bees and orchids
The shiny metallic or bumblebee-like orchid-bees (> 30 species) and the orchids they pollinate are studied jointly by the Munich Botanical Garden and the ZSM.
The ants of Panguana are a mega hit! The more than 520 species found so far make this the most diverse of all comparable faunas worldwide. A current special research focus is on the leafcutter ants with their large underground nests and fungus gardens.
Other hymenopterous insects
Members of other Hymenoptera families such as Vespidae and Ichneumonidae also are important components of the Amazonian fauna, thus regularly figure in studies at Panguana.
The enormously species-rich insect order of beetles shows different composition from year to year. The groups studied most at Panguana are longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae, about 400 species), jewel beetles (Buprestidae), and forms living in ground litter or bark mulch, e.g. bessbugs (Passalidae).