For the last 30 years entomologists all over the world have been gathering together on a regular basis, led by their fascination with one of the three most captivating with their colours and numbers beetle families. The most cardinal of these gatherings is the Symposium on Leaf Beetles, nowadays organised every two years, which traditionally culminates into special issues to hold the quintessence from the findings, talks and debates and keep them safe for the future generations. For a fifth time in a row, the latest volume is published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.
The present volume, assembled with the works of a large multinational research team and put together by editors Drs. Michael Schmitt, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität, Jorge Santiago-Blay and long-year head of the community of leaf beetle researchers, Prof. Pierre Hippolyte Auguste Jolivet, continues the seemingly ever-going task assumed by the community to further build on the knowledge about the taxonomy, distribution, physiology and biology of the amazing creatures.
In light of the news of Prof. Pierre Jolivet's resignation from his post as head and senior editor of Research on Chrysomelidae, his colleagues and friends from the chrysomelid community have dedicated the present volume to their "spiritus rector". "We, editors, many authors, and publishers of Research on Chrysomelidae are grateful for Pierre's permanent intellectual stimulation, his helpful input, and his friendship," read the final words of the editorial.
Apart from the activities linked to Research on Chrysomelidae, Prof. Pierre Jolivet has been the inspiring leader of the community of leaf beetle researchers for more than half a century. Furthermore, the Normandy-born entomologist has also published works on ants, ant-plant interactions, parasites of insects and even broader topics, such as evolution.
However, with its 30-year legacy the collaborative global initiative does not seem anywhere close to its slowing down. While a sixth consecutive volume of RoC is currently in production with ZooKeys journal, more and more young chrysomelidologists join the community. Meanwhile, the Symposia themselves having been held every four years, now take place every twenty-four months.
"Eight symposia on Chrysomelidae have been held. Many new things have been found but some problems remain unsolved," conclude the editors.
"It is certain that some areas need more investigation, as Madagascar for instance, and that there remain many biological problems to be solved or to be discovered," they point their next steps. "Deforestation reduces the number of species and genera, and many will disappear before being described. Few will persist as fossils in the tropics. Millions of insects have existed in the past and will remain unknown forever."
Jolivet P (2015) Together with 30 years of Symposia on Chrysomelidae! Memories and personal reflections on what we know more about leaf beetles. In: Jolivet P, Santiago-Blay J, Schmitt M (Eds) Research on Chrysomelidae 5. ZooKeys 547: 35-61. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.547.7181
Research on Chrysomelidae 5 Special Issue is available to read and order from here.