Finding a new species on Flickr

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Beautiful lacewing - Semachrysa sp. - IMG_0161 merged copy

A common use of Flickr is to find photos. But what about finding a new species of insect?

Insect biosystematist Dr. Shaun Winterton discovered a photo on Flickr of a green lacewing taken by Hock Ping Guek (known as Kurt on Flickr). The insect was not identifiable as a known species to Winterton, and after collaborating with the photographer, a specimen was collected in the Malaysian rainforest. Further examination showed that this indeed was a new species. The discoverers named it Semachrysa jade. The discovery was published in ZooKeys and the abstract reads:

A charismatic new species of green lacewing discovered in Malaysia (Neuroptera, Chrysopidae): the confluence of citizen scientist, online image database and cybertaxonomy.

Photo from Kurt. You can read more in his blog Up Close with Nature or in ZooKeys Issue 214.

Posted by Kay Kremerskothen
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