Monday, 16 September 2013

New beetle species discovered on Ateneo de Manila campus

Ateneo de Manila University: home to the Ateneo Blue Eagles, a plethora of cats, some extremely hairy caterpillars—and now, a new species of water beetle.

Hydraena ateneo, a new species of insect was found inside a waterway in the Ateneo de Manila campus in November of last year.

It is about one millimeter in length and half a millimeter in width, a bit smaller than its close cousin, theH. castamescens. It also has distinctive legs and a male reproductive organ called an aedeagus.

H. ateneo's discovery was not surprising, Ateneo biology professor Dr. Hendrik Freitag wrote in the scientific journal ZooKeys, since the Hydraena genus is mega-diverse and the hydraenid fauna is found in many islands of the Philippines.

But what makes it special is its discovery in the densely populated metropolis that is Metro Manila, where biological diversity is highly unlikely.

“A new species from a highly urbanized megacity is always a surprise,” Dr. Freitag told the International Business Times.

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