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New Bush Cricket Species Hidden Away for Over 100 Years

Jan 19, 2015 04:25 PM EST
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A new bush cricket species has been hidden away for over 100 years just waiting to be discovered, and now that day has finally come, according to a new study.

Museums of natural history are an important source of evidence of existing variety and diversity of animal species, and one of these institutions has proven its value with the discovery of four new genera and four new species of bush crickets that had been sitting on its shelves for years.

It was for this reason that one of the four new bush crickets was named Arostratum oblitum, with "oblitum" meaning "forgotten" in Latin.

The study goes to show that scientists "have missed many interesting taxa once collected and put in museum collections and the forgotten for a long time. Probably many other new species are waiting to be discovered," study author Dr. Bruno Massa, from the Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences at the University of Palermo, said in a press release.

The new species of bush crickets hail from Central Africa - one of several parts of the world that is rich in animals of the genus Orthoptera. Despite the fact that many studies have been carried out since 1800 in this region, it still hides many unknown taxa.

Bush crickets, according to BBC Nature, number over 6,000 species and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They boast a unique kind of camouflage that involves them mimicking leaves or sticks to stay hidden from predators.

The males are known for producing a loud sound, called stridulation, by rubbing their front wings together, whereas females are usually silent.

The new species, described in the journal ZooKeys, may in time reveal a bit more about bush crickets than we already know.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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