Monday, 29 June 2015

Student discovers new species of firefly

June 27, 2015

Chuck Bednar for – @BednarChuck

 (Image credit: UCR Today)
While collecting insects in Los Angeles County as part of an entomology class project, a 24-year-old undergraduate student at the University of California-Riverside discovered a never before seen species of firefly.

Joshua Oliva, a native of Guatemala, found the insect while capturing, mounting and identifying 300 insects as part of the class project, according to The Orange County Register. The firefly was recovered from an area of Topanga Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The discovery was later confirmed by Doug Yanega, head of the campus entomology museum, and experts from the University of Florida. “I’ve been told by other people a number of times, ‘Hey, you discovered a new species,’” Yanega told the newspaper. “This was the first time I’ve given the news to someone else who’s discovered one. It was very gratifying.”

“He wasn’t 100 percent certain it was a firefly, and brought it to me for confirmation,” the curator added in a statement. “I know the local fauna well enough that within minutes I was able to tell him he had found something entirely new to science. I don’t think I’ve seen a happier student in my life.”

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