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103 New Insect Species

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In 2018, a of researchers led by Dr Alexander Riedel, of the Natural History Museum Karlsruhe, Germany, discovered 103 insect species which are new to science.

The beetles – they are only a few centimetres long – were found in rainforests on the of Sulawesi, in Indonesia. The beetles are all members of the weevil family, and only of their kind was ever previously discovered on Sulawesi, way in 1885.

Having made the important the next facing the researchers was to give each beetle a scientific . They belong to the genus Trigonopterus.

Dr Riedel named one tiny green weevil Trigonopterus yoda, after the vertically challenged Jedi master from  Wars. There are also T. Asterix and T. obelix, named after the main characters in the French Comic series Asterix. He named a of weevils after Francis Watson and James Crick, scientists who helped in the discovery of the structure of DNA, and even called one T. jasminae after his own .  

Well over one species of insect have been identified to date around the world. However, Recent studies have shown there is an ongoing in insect populations. In Europe insects are being lost to intensive farming and the use of insecticides, while in the tropics they are endangered by the destruction of rainforests.

As for Sulawesi – scientists are confident there may be thousands of undiscovered insect species living in the on the island.




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