Finding a new species on Flickr

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.

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Kay is a Community Manager for Flickr and passionate about extraordinary photography. As an editor on Flickr Blog he loves to showcase the beauty and diversity of Flickr in his posts. When he's not blogging or making Flickr more awesome (in front of and behind the scenes), you can find him taking pictures with his beloved Nikon and iPhone, listening to Hans Zimmer's music or playing board games. | On Flickr you can find him at https://flic.kr/quicksilver