Thursday, 25 September 2008

Lots of undescribed species!!!

This August, a seminal paper was published by the Entomological Society of New Zealand's news bulletin The Weta. I am of course, talking about the note entitled "Insects associated with the mature seedheads of Buddleja davidii Franchet (Scrophulariaceae)" written by yours truly. It is my first entomological paper of sorts, and as such I am relatively pleased with it.

It came about when doing some work to finish off my undergrad degree and I ended up seiving some buddleja seedheads to get the seeds. I was surprised to see lots of insects in the seedheads and so I decided to keep them and identify them for my own interest. What interested me most was the diversity of insects, particularly ones which are considered to be native to New Zealand. You tend not to expect such high numbers of indigenous species on introduced weeds. At least I didn't.

The other things which really interested me was finding three undescribed wasp species. This really brought home to me how much we don't know about the world around us. It also gave me an interesting story to tell people who express surprise when I tell them that there are still lots of insects to describe.

For a paper that was somewhat of an afterthought, it's not too bad I reckon. Let me know what you think though....

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