If Shanghai is known for anything, it’s for the city’s insect biodiversity with researchers recently discovering a whole new species of beetle.
While there may be some 65,000 different kinds of rove beetle around the world there is only one “Batriscenel-lus xijiaogongyuan.” The 2-millimeter-long beetle was found during a survey of the Shanghai Zoo in 2015 which was meant to document the arthropod diversity found within the zoo, Shanghai Daily reports.
“It is one of the insects we’ve collected in summer last year from fallen leaves and branches in a forest at the zoo, which is so remote that tourists would not visit,” said Yin Ziwei, an associate professor and a member of the entomological lab at Shanghai Normal University.
After over a year of sitting on this revelation, researchers finally informed the world of their discovery yesterday. Sadly, the beetle itself is now long dead with a lifespan of just one month.
They decided to name the little critter “xijiaogongyuan” because that was the original name of the Shanghai zoo. Beetle naming is more controversial than you might think. Last year, a patriotic scientist christened a newly-discovered beetle species after Chinese President Xi Jinping. Afterward, all reports about the bug were promptly fumigated from the Chinese internet.
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