Scientists from the Entomology Research Museum at the University of California, Riverside announced today that a new species of firefly has been discovered by an undergraduate student.
According to Doug Yanega, one of the researchers from the museum, the new species of firefly was discovered by Joshua Oliva while he was looking for insects near Topanga, California.
Yanega said that the student was not 100% sure what he had discovered was a firefly and he brought it in for confirmation.
The researcher could immediately tell the insect was a new species of firefly, which made the student who discovered it extremely happy.
Yanega explained that there are a few species of fireflies that live in Southern California.
Most of them live near seeps and springs and are very rarely seen.
The researchers wanted to talk about the new species of firefly because they believe it may need some sort of protection until they can find out more about it.
New species of insects are discovered more frequently that some assume.
According to the researchers, a few dozen new species are discovered every year, internationally and locally.
Although it’s unusual for a student to make such a discovery, it has happened in the past, scientists say.
However, it is not common that a new species to be recognized as soon as it’s discovered.
Usually, new species sit in collections for many years before an expert comes to acknowledge that the insects belong to an unknown species.
Yanega said he is lucky to have been able to recognize the new species of firefly as soon as the student discovered it.
The University of California Riverside has an impressive collection of more than 4 million insects collected in the past 100 years, and new species are being added to the collection frequently.
Yanega sent photos of the firefly to Joe Cicero and Marc Branham from the University of Florida, both experts in fireflies, and they confirmed it was indeed a new species.
According to the experts, the new species of firefly has not been given a name yet because it takes several years for the naming process to be completed.
Image Source: cbsla