Acicnemis ryukyuana: Strange, spiny beetle discovered in Japan

Acicnemis ryukyuana: Strange, spiny beetle discovered in Japan

Acicnemis ryukyuana was found on Japan’s Ryukyu Islands


This bristly insect, discovered roaming on Japan’s subtropical islands, has simply been named as a new-to-science species of beetle, Acicnemis ryukyuana.

Since 2015, Jake Lewis on the Okinawa Institute of Science and Expertise and his colleagues have been inserting traps round Japan’s Ryukyu Islands to review the big variety of bugs residing there.

This specimen, marked by a definite yellow band on its shoulders, lengthy hair-like scales throughout its physique and legs, and the distinctive form of its torso, belongs to the genus Acicnemis, which includes over 180 species. The bugs are just some millimetres lengthy, and Lewis verified that Acicnemis ryukyuana was certainly distinct from already recognized beetles by evaluating it with all of the others within the genus.

Primarily based on the small variety of specimens that entered the traps, these beetles are in all probability fairly uncommon, says Lewis. In addition they solely confirmed up in pristine, closely forested areas. “That’s a sign that this can be a species which is native right here, since you’ll normally discover non-native ones in metropolis areas and parks,” says Lewis.

Around the globe, only a few kinds of beetle are at the moment protected by regulation. By persevering with to determine and study extra about these creatures, Lewis hopes that uncommon species comparable to Acicnemis ryukyuana might be granted safety sooner or later.

Bugs such as beetles and moths play a key position in forest decomposition, says Lewis. “Having a extra full data of all of the species may result in a extra complete image of the forest ecology.”


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