Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mystery Insect Found In London's Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden

Date:
July 16, 2008
Source:
The Natural History Museum
Summary:
An insect, not seen in the UK before, has been discovered living in the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden in London. The tiny bug is baffling insect experts at the Museum who are still trying to identify the mystery newcomer. Experts checked the new bug with those in the Museum's national insect collection of more than 28 million specimens. Amazingly, there is no exact match.

This mystery bug has not been seen in the UK before and has made the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden its home. This is an immature specimen.
Credit: Image courtesy of The Natural History Museum

An insect, not seen in the UK before, has been discovered living in the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden. The tiny bug is baffling insect experts at the Museum who are still trying to identify the mystery newcomer.

The almond-shaped bug is red and black and about the sizeof a grain of rice. The bug appears to be harmless, but there is potential for it to spread throughout the UK.

Living on London plane trees

The bug was first seen in the Museum grounds in March 2007 on the seeds of some of the plane trees that grow there. Therewere also similar specimens found in other parts of London in 2006 thatother scientists reported in a paper in May 2007.

The insects in the Museum grounds increased in numbers so quickly that by August 2007 it was the most common insect in the Wildlife Garden.

'It seems strange that so many of these bugs should suddenly appear,' says Max Barclay, one of the Museum's insect experts.

'With international trade and climate change, several new insects are showing up in London every year. Some of the invaders come from southern Europe, but others are from as far away as Australia. The fauna of the city is changing all the time now.'

Not even onein 28 million

Experts checked the new bug with those in the Museum's national insect collection of more than 28 million specimens. Amazingly, there is no exact match.

From alder to plane trees?

The bugclosely resembles the fairly rare species Arocatus roeselii, which is usually found in central Europe. However, the roeselii bugs are brighter red than this new bug and they are usually associated with alder trees rather than plane trees.

However, the National Museum in Prague discovered an exact match to the mystery bug in their collections - an insect that was found in Nice and is classified as Arocatus roeselii.

'There are two possible explanations,' explains Barclay.'That the bug is roeselii and by switching to feed on the plane trees it could suddenly become more abundant, successful and invasive. The other possibility is that the insect in our grounds may not be roeselii at all.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Natural History Museum. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Natural History Museum. "Mystery Insect Found In London's Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080715163957.htm>.
The Natural History Museum. (2008, July 16). Mystery Insect Found In London's Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080715163957.htm
The Natural History Museum. "Mystery Insect Found In London's Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080715163957.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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