Wednesday, 14 October 2015

How small is the smallest? New record of the tiniest free-living insect provides precision

Date:October 8, 2015

Source:Pensoft Publishers

The long-lasting search and debate around the size and identity of the World's smallest free-living insect seems to have now been ended with the precise measurement and second record of the featherwing beetle species.

Described back in 1999 based on only several specimens found in Nicaragua, as many as 85 individuals of the minute beetle species have recently been retrieved from Colombia and thoroughly examined. The smallest of them measured the astounding 0.325 mm. The finding made by Dr. Alexey Polilov, Lomonosov Moscow State University Moscow, is available in the open access journal ZooKeys.

The World's smallest beetle and tiniest non-parasitoid insect, called Scydosella musawasensis, is morphologically characterised by its elongated oval body, yellowish-brown colouration and antennae split into 10 segments. It is also the only representative of this featherwing beetle genus.

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