New species of ‘incredibly rare’ insects discovered in Uganda
A British researcher has discovered a new type of Insect “incredibly rare”, So much so that his closest relatives were last seen in 1969.
Alvin Helden of Anglia Ruskin University found a new species of cicada, which he called “Phlogis kibalensis,” while fieldworking with students in the rainforest at Kibale National Park in the West Uganda. Its description was published in the journal “Zootaxa”.
The new species has a distinct metallic luster and belongs to a genus called Phlogis, a note from the university explains.
Prior to this discovery, the last recorded sighting of cicadas of this “alien race” was in the Central African Republic in 1969.
the Cicadas are closely related to cicadas, but it is much smaller: the male of the new species ‘Phlogis kibalensis’ measures just 6.5 mm. She, like most cicadas, has male reproductive organs of a unique shape, in this case partially similar to leaves.
Cicadas feed mainly on plant sap, which they suck directly from the bark, and are preyed on by invertebrates such as spiders, beetles and parasitic wasps, as well as birds.
“Finding this new species is a once-in-a-lifetime feat, especially since its closest relative was found in another country over fifty years ago. I knew it was something very special as soon as I saw it,” sums up the scientist.
cicadas of this genus and larger family, They have an unusual appearance and are rarely found.
“In fact, they are so rare that their biology remains almost completely unknown and we know almost nothing about the newly discovered Phlogis kibalensis, including the plants that feed on them or their role in the local ecosystem,” Helden said.
“There is a lot to be discovered, not only about it, but also about many other things, including Many species are still waiting to be discovered. It is very sad to think that some of them will become extinct before we even realize their existence.”
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