Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Species Of Biting Aquatic Insects Found In Thailand

Date:
May 24, 2007
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
While in Thailand a researcher found a treasure-trove of previously unknown information about aquatic insects in the country. In the process, he learned firsthand that a few of these little critters pack quite a punch when they bite.

Water striders of genus Ptilomera.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Missouri-Columbia

While in Thailand, a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher found a treasure-trove of previously unknown information about aquatic insects in the country. In the process, he learned firsthand that a few of these little critters pack quite a punch when they bite.

"It's much, much worse than a bee or wasp sting," said Robert Sites, an entomologist in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri-Columbia. "It's actually not a sting; it's a bite. You'll be thinking about it a half hour or an hour. I was bitten in the pad of my little finger, and I felt intense pain all the way to my elbow for a good 30 minutes."

Working with researchers from universities in Thailand, Slovenia and the United States, Sites discovered more than 50 new insect species over a three-year period. His observations, which were funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, took place in national parks around the country and focused on insects living in mountainous streams and waterfalls.

Of the discoveries, Sites has formally described 12 of the new insects and prepared written detailed analyses of their physical characteristics, which includes the colors and sizes of their heads, wings and legs, along with numerous other distinctive features. He said six belong to the family Gerridae, commonly referred to as water striders; the remaining are members of the family Aphelocheiridae. Despite the painful bite, none are dangerous to humans, Sites said.

Each is related to insect species that are found in other parts of the world - including the United States. Sites said the new insects, which possess names like Eotrechus elongatus and Ptilomera tennaserim, serve no specific ecological purpose other than to eat and reproduce.

"From a scientific perspective, they're all cool," he said. "Unfortunately, people always want to know what good are they; what is their purpose. They're just part of the ecosystem, part of nature. They don't have a particular purpose for humanity. They're predacious insects. They feed on other insects that they can overpower in the streams. Some even eat small fish. They're pretty ferocious predators."

Sites' findings and descriptions of the insects are being published on an on-going basis. His most recently published study, "A Review of Ptilomera (Heteroptera: Gerridae) in Thailand, with Descriptions of Three New Species," appeared in the March issue of Annals of the Entomological Society of America.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "New Species Of Biting Aquatic Insects Found In Thailand." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523100035.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2007, May 24). New Species Of Biting Aquatic Insects Found In Thailand. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523100035.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "New Species Of Biting Aquatic Insects Found In Thailand." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523100035.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) Green balls of algae washed up on Sydney, Australia's Dee Why Beach. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins