Henry Hespenheide

Professor Emeritus

email: hahiii@ucla.edu
phone: (310) 825-3170
office: 1123A LSB

Recent Courses

EE BIOL 13 - Evolution of Life
GE CLST 70A - Evolution of Cosmos and Life
GE CLST 70CW - Evolution of the Cosmos and Life: Special Topics in Life Sciences

Research Interests

My research focuses on insects, and the variety of projects is united by curiosity about communities and faunas: How many species live in a particular area? What evolutionary pressures do they face? Of these, predator-prey interactions are of special interest. Most current field work is in Costa Rica. Specific projects include the following:

The insect fauna of the La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica: Systematic collecting and ecological sampling are being used by the Arthropods of La Selva project (ALAS) in an attempt to determine the species richness of arthropods of a lowland tropical forest site. Inventory of the biodiversity of the tropical regions is one of the largest frontiers of biological research. Costa Rica's Institute Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio), a collaborator in the ALAS project, has become a model for faunal inventories. The jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and a subfamily of weevils (Curculionidae, Conoderinae) are my focal groups.

Taxonomy and ecology of leaf-mining beetles: In addition to more descriptive studies, I am using these beetles as bioassays of the effectiveness of insect defense of plants bearing extra floral nectaries. Although ants are usually thought of as the protectors of such plants, I am particularly impressed by the frequency of parasitoids as visitors to nectaries and wonder about their importance to such systems.

Taxonomy of wood-boring beetles and the evolution of mimicry: The occurrence of mimicry is being looked at in terms of the size and biogeography of the mimics, as well as the ecology of the models. Examination of insects eaten by birds allows estimation of the predation pressure exerted on the insects. The existence of these mimicry complexes and many of the mimetic species have never been described.

Prey selection and structure of robberfly communities: This work involves delimiting the robberfly fauna of La Selva and Cave Creek Canyon, Arizona, (about 100 species recorded to date in each place) and accumulating information on the behavioral ecology of the species present.

Selected Publications

Hespenheide, Henry A, "New species and new records of Neotrachys Obenberger, 1923, from Central America and the Antilles (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)", The Pan-Pacific Entolmologist, 82 (2): 223-241 (2006) .

Hespenheide, Henry A, "A New Eulechriops (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Conoderinae) from Brazil Attacking Rubus", Neotropical Entomology, 34 (6): 1009-1011 (2005) .

Hespenheide, H.A., "A Reconsideration of Pachyschelus schwarzi Kerremans and a review of American Pachyschelus North of Mexico (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)", Coleopterists Bulletin, 57 (4): 459-468 (2003) .

Hespenheide, H.A., "New Lechriops species for the United States (Coleoptera; Curculionidae: Conoderinae)", Coleopterists Bulletin, 57 (3): 345-352 (2003) .

Hespenheide, H.A., "A new Eulechriops for the United States (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Conoderinae)", Coleopterists Bulletin, 57 : 95-98 (2003) .

Bellamy, C.L. and Hespenheide, H.A., "The review of two Mexican species groups of Agrilus (Coleoptera Buprestidae: Agrilinae)", Anales del Instituto de Biologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Serie Zoologia), 73 : 37-51 (2002) .

Hespenheide, H.A. and L.M. LaPierre, "A review of Ptous (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Cryptorhynchinae)", Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 104 : 856-862 (2002) .

Hespenheide, H.A., "A review of North and Central American Paragrilus Saunders, 1871 (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)", Zootaxa, 23 : 1-28 (2002) .

Hespenheide, H.A., "Curculionidae, subfamily Conoderinae", American Beetles, R. H. Arnett, Jr., M.C. Thomas, P.E. Skelley and J.H. Frank(Eds.), Boca Raton, Florida CRC Press 2 : 754-756 (2002) .

Hespenheide, H.A., "Beetles", Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, S. Levin(Eds.), San Diego, CA American Press 1 : 351-358 (2001) .