New water beetle species found in Ateneo campus

Rappler.com
The new species is named Hydraena ateneo, after the university; Study says 'even in a megacity new discoveries are possible'

Image courtesy Zookeys/H. Freitag

MANILA, Philippines – New insect species could be waiting for discovery right under your nose. Or, in this case, along the waterways of a Metro Manila university.

Students and faculty from the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City discovered a new brown water beetle species.

The new species is named Hydraena ateneo, after the university.

H. ateneo is a little more a millimeter long and half a millimeter wide. It resembles Hydreana castanescens, but is smaller in size and has straight metatibiae is both sexes.

The new species also has distinctive legs and a male reproductive organ called the aedeagus, the study said.

Found in submerged leaf litter in a small, slow flowing creek, its was named “in special recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the university’s Department of Biology,” according to the latest issue of the journal Zookeys.

Ateneo biology professor Hendrik Freitag told the International Business Times that it’s “always a surprise” to find new species in a highly urbanized place in Metro Manila.

“This study has shown that even in a megacity new discoveries are possible, as long as remnants of semi-natural vegetation and more or less unpolluted waters are present,” the paper said.

H. ateneo has since been found in Cavite and Laguna. -Rappler.com

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