Joshua Oliva, 24, Who is an undergrad student at the University of California Riverside creates a hype this summer by coming across a new species of firefily in Topanga, Cali. Joshua is very enthusiastic about entomology and plans on studying it at graduate school.
The 24 year old undergrad first spotted the firefly in mid-May and soon it was immediately identified by Doug Yanega, who is senior scientist at the Entomology Research Museum. Yanega instantly transferred photos of the firefly to Joe Cicero and Marc Branham.
Students specializing in Fireflies at the University of Florida, declared universally that Oliva had found a new species.
“It’s peculiar to have come across a new species so briskly. “It’s pretty typical for specimens of new insect species to sit in a collection for a decade or more before an expert comes along who has enough familiarity with that particular type of insect to be able to recognize that it’s something new, but I was able to tell this one was interesting right away, and compared it to reference material in our museum,” Yanega said. “This is why it is essential for scientists to collect and keep insect specimens.”
The university contains approximately four million case histories on file. The records include samples found about a century ago. Although Oliva’s discovery is prominent and praiseworthy, such discoveries are a norm at the university, made almost every year. “While it’s unusual for an undergraduate student to find a new species, this has happened before, and shows nicely how a little careful effort can pay off in a big way,” Yanega added
The new firefly discovered is close to half a centimeter long, it’s orange and black colored and has a radiant tail. In future, researchers will continue working on it and discovering new things about the species and off course eventually name it. work to learn more about the species and eventually. This vast process can take many years.
“The act of formally describing a new species is like gathering evidence for a court case, and might require the examination of specimens from many different collections in order to build a list of all of the features that make this species different from related known species, or even involve DNA sequencing,” Yanega said.
“It’s not unusual for new species’ names to honor the person who first collected them.”