Entomologists have discovered 14 new beetle species in the Society Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.
The beetles, all within the genus Mecyclothorax, were discovered by James Liebherr, professor and curator of the Cornell University Insect Collection, who has discovered about half of the 400 total known Mecyclothorax species.
Once discovered, Liebherr often names a new insect based on “an attribute that stands out,” he says. For example, the male of one species had large spines on its back legs that reminded him of a comb, so he named it Mecyclothorax pahere, using the Tahitian word for comb.
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Photo credit: James Liebherr, Cornell