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New Beetle Species

December 29th, 2015

74 New Beetle Species

A Cornell professor has found 74 new beetle species on a volcano! Cornell University entomology professor, James Liebherr brought his students to work on the cold, mist-shrouded Haleakala volcano where they searched for rare beetle species.

More than 100 field days were spent on the Hawaiian volcano over the course of 20 years, during which time 116 species of round-waisted predatory beetles were found, 74 of which were new to science.

“It’s not just that he found 74 new species, which is in-and-of-itself remarkable, but he found them all in one volcano, and he was able to define these different micro-regions across the volcano — it’s just astounding,” University of Hawaii Insect Museum Director Daniel Rubinoff said.

Very few entomologists have the opportunity to study on this volcano because the government doesn’t want people exposed to the dangers of its few trails, heavy rain and low temperatures. Liebherr obtained special permits in order to backpack through the area for his research.

 

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