HomePLANTS & ANIMALSECOLOGYNew species of incredibly rare insect discovered

New species of incredibly rare insect discovered

A British scientist has found a new species that belongs to a set of bugs so rare that its closest relative was last seen in 1969.

Dr. Alvin Helden of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) found the new species of leafhopper, which he has named as Phlogis kibalensis, during field work with college students inside the rainforest of the Kibale National Park in western Uganda, and the discovery has been introduced in the magazine Zootaxa.

The new species, which has a distinctive metallic sheen, pitted body which is not unusual with maximum leafhoppers, uniquely-shaped male reproductive organs in this example partly leaf-shaped belongs to a group referred as Phlogis.

Prior to this new discovery, the last recorded sighting of a leafhopper from this rare genus was in Central African Republic in 1969. Leafhoppers are related to cicadas and are a good deal smaller, with the male of the newly found Phlogis kibalensis species is simply 6.5mm long. Leafhopper’s feed in particularly on plant sap, sucked directly from the phloem, and are preyed on with the aid of invertebrates, along with spiders, beetles, and parasitic wasps, in addition to birds.

Dr Alvin Helden photographing insects in Kibale National Park
Dr Alvin Helden photographing insects in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Credit: Please credit Anglia Ruskin University

Dr. Helden has been leading pupil field trips to the Kibale National Park, close to Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, since 2015. As a part of the research, he has been documenting the bugs found inside the park, and has produced picture publications to Kibale’s butterflies, hawkmoths, and tortoise beetles.


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