LA Teen Stumbles Upon New Firefly Species

June 30, 2015 / No Comments

Not every day do we come across a new species as we go about our normal holiday walk. But Joshua Olive was in for a surprise that he stumbled upon a new kind of living being.

new firefly LA Teen Stumbles Upon New Firefly Species

It just would have been a rather normal day for Olive, a recent graduate from University of California in History, who was on a hiking trip with his mother to the Topanga Canyon on Mother’s Day.

But it turned out to be a day of discovery as he bumped into a firefly, which appeared with an orange halo-like shield and a protruding organ near its tail.

It was a discovery not just for him, but for even the deepest minds dedicated with the field of species discovery.

For a guy who was keenly interested in entomology, despite having his graduation in History, it took no much time to realize it wasn’t something he could recognize within the dictionary of insects.

He headed right to the UC Riverside Entomology Research Museum, and it was Doug Yanega who revealed that the insect was a never-before known species.

Having a bit of expertise on local fauna, it took only two minutes for Doug to realize that the discovered species was new to science. This was later confirmed by the experts from the University of Florida.

Although around 12 new species get discovered by the University every year, it was for the first time that such a discovery was made by an undergraduate student.

Currently, around 2000 species of fireflies have been known around the globe, but barely was any of those found to be scattered across Los Angeles.

According to Marc Branham, a firefly expert in University of Florida, only 18 known species of fireflies have been found as of now from the state of California.

The newly discovered species awaits a nomenclature now, and Olive hopes that it gets named after his mom, who was partly responsible for the hiking trip. The official naming may however take a few years.