Bugs On the Brink
Education Officer Lisa Fowler and a team of researchers recently traveled to the tiny territory of St. Helena to take a survey of the insects still inhabiting the area. What they found shocked scientists everywhere. The cranefly was previously believed to be extinct, but was discovered alive when one flew in the car window of Ms. Fowler’s car and landed on her hand as she was driving to the High Peaks. The Basilewsky’s cranefly, which looks like a smaller version of a daddy long legs, was thought to be extinct, as one hasn’t been seen in 45 years. That’s not all they found, though. The team also spotted three other insect species that hadn’t been seen since the 1960s: Lelup’s centipede, the Jackal fly, and the Metalmark moth. Two new insect families were also discovered: the scaly bark-flies and the scentless plant bug. What began as a routine expedition to catalogue and study invertebrates on St. Helena turned into a profound discovery of lost insect life.
Do you think there are other insects alive in this world that we may think are extinct?