Seven new leaf insect species, often called “walking leaves”, have been found.
The bugs exhibit a complicated “twigs and leaf-like” camouflage permitting them to mix into their environment with out detection, posing a problem to each predators and researchers.
Traditionally, taxonomy – the sorting and classification of species – has been tough with bugs that can not be recognized primarily based on exterior look alone. The brand new research, revealed within the journal ZooKeys, used genetic evaluation to establish the species. Some bugs present in India had beforehand been assumed to be half of a bigger south-east Asian species group.
“Individuals of different species are often counted as belonging to the same species based on their appearance. We were only able to identify some of the new species by their genetic characteristics,” defined lead researcher Dr Sarah Financial institution-Aubin of the College of Göttingen in Germany.
Co-author Dr Sven Bradler, additionally on the College of Göttingen, added: “There are around 3,500 known species of stick and leaf insects and there are currently just over 100 described species of leaf insect. Although they only make up a small fraction of this diverse family of insects, their spectacular and unexpected appearance makes them unique.”
The findings are necessary not just for the systematic research of leaf bugs but in addition for the safety of their variety. The lack of these Indian bugs wouldn’t merely scale back numbers inside a recognized species; it might imply the extinction of a wholly separate species.
Financial institution-Aubin emphasised the significance of biodiversity preservation: “The finding is important for species conservation: if all the individuals die out in India, it is not just a group within a species that is reduced, as was previously thought. In fact, a whole distinct species is being wiped out. This means that the Indian species is particularly important to protect.”
Utilizing these genetic strategies, greater than 20 new cryptic species have been found from Vietnam, Borneo, Java and the Philippines.