New species are being discovered every day, all around the world. Some, like the tiny frog above, are hidden among debris on the forest floor, while others are hiding in plain sight on museum shelves, just waiting to be described by rese...
New species are being discovered every day, all around the world. Some, like the tiny frog above, are hidden among debris on the forest floor, while others are hiding in plain sight on museum shelves, just waiting to be described by researchers. Since there are so many species being discovered, it’s only natural that someone try and determine which among them are the best species. It’s in that spirit that we bring you the top ten new species discovered in the last year, as appointed by an international group of taxonomists and presented by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University.
No. 1 | Viola lilliputana
Specimens have been around since the 1960s, but the Lilliputian Violet, which grows in the dry grasslands of Peru, was only described scientifically last year
Image credit: Harvey Ballard
No. 2 | Chondrocladia lyra
Discovered in the deep waters off the coast of California, the lyre sponge may look musically inclined, but its long vertical arms are devoted solely to capturing plankton to feed itself.
Image Credit: MBARI
No. 3 | Cercopithecus lomamiensis
The Lesula monkey has been known to natives of the Cemocratic Republic of the Congo for years as a prime source of bush meat for food. The species was only described by researchers in 2012, and is already thought to be threatened.
Image Credit: K. Honda
No. 4 | Sibon noalamina
The best name on this list definitely goes to the No to the Mine! snake, a newly discovered inhabitant of central American jungles and forests that dines on slugs, snails, and other soft bodied critters.
Image Credit: Sevastian Lotzkat
No. 5 | Ochroconis anomala
Anomola is one of two species of fungus from a new genus that was discovered in France's Lascaux caves, famed for their prehistoric paintings.
Image Credit: Pedro M. Martin-Sanchez
No. 6 | Paedophryne manuensis
Just seven millimeters long, the tiny frog Paedophryne manuensis is the smallest known vertebrate in the world. And let's face it, it's among the cutest, too.
Image Credit: Christopher C. Austin
No. 7 | Eugenia petrikensis
Native to Madagascar's increasingly rare littoral forests, this beautiful shrub that can grow as high as two meteres is already considered an endangered species.
Image Credit: David Rabehevitra
No. 8 | Lucihormetica luckae
Discovered in Ecuador but not described until last year, this glow-in-the-dark cockroach produced light from twin lanterns on the back of its head. Unfortunately, we have to say produced, because the animal's only known habitat is thought to have been wiped out in a volcanic eruption. On the other hand, now the name "lightning cockroach" can go to some indie band, as is right and proper.
Image Credit: Peter Vrsansky & Dusan Chorvat
No. 9 | Semachrysa jade
A strong runner up for the "Best Name," the Jade Green Lacewing is also known as the Social Media Butterfly. It gets its second on-the-nose name from the fact that it was first identified from a photo on Flickr.
Image Credit: Guek Hock Ping
No. 10 | Juracimbrophlebia ginkgofolia
One of the only fossils on the list, Juracimbrophlebia ginkgofolia is a fly from the Jurassic era that researchers believe hung upside down among the gingko leaves it so resembled.
Image Credit: Wang, Labandeira, Shih and Ren
(via Arizona State University)
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