August 9, 2012
New Lacewing From Malaysia Discovered Online Accidentally
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Green lacewings live in a wide variety of habitats, especially tropical forests. They are delicate green insects with large, lace-like wings. Adults mostly eat flowers, but the larvae are ferocious predators of other insects, using their enormous, sucking tube-like jaws to frequently carry the dead carcasses of their prey on their backs after killing them.
A beautiful new species of green lacewing in the genus Semachrysa from the Malaysian rainforest is described in this study. Its most distinctive feature is the wing pattern. This discovery could have been missed by scientists because an exquisite series of images posted online in Flickr®, after the insect was released, was the only documented evidence that the new species existed
It was only after the scientists came across the images online, that efforts were made to capture more specimens so that this species could be formally described as new to science. A formal description is not possible without an actual specimen to put in a museum as a reference. One year later they collected another one in the same place and the scientists and professional photographer came together on the description of this new species, which was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.