For the past six years, the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University has compiled a list of the top 10 new species named in each year. They’ve just released the new list, which features a glow-in-the-dark cockroach, and carnivorous sponge, and a blue-bottomed monkey.
But about those glowing roaches – Lucihormetica luckae, country of origin Ecuador. The first luminescent cockroach was discovered in 1999, and since then over a dozen similar species have been found. This new glowing cockroach is special, however:
“This cockroach is known from a single specimen collected 70 years ago from an area heavily impacted by the eruption of the Tungurahua volcano. The species may be most remarkable because the size and placement of its lamps suggest that it is using light to mimic toxic luminescent click beetles,” says LiveScience.
Other species named to the list?
- Lilliputian Violet, a tiny Peruvian flower.
- Lyre Sponge, a plankton-eating deep-water sponge
- Lesula Monkey, blut-butted old-world monkey
Of the nearly 9 million (debated) species in the world, these are some the best discoveries to finally be named by scientists. Over 140 new species were whittled down to 10.
“For decades, we have averaged 18,000 species discoveries per year which seemed reasonable before the biodiversity crisis. Now, knowing that millions of species may not survive the 21st century, it is time to pick up the pace,” Quentin Wheeler, director of the Institute at ASU, said in a statement. “We are calling for a NASA-like mission to discover 10 million species in the next 50 years.”
[Image via LiveScience]