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A student accidentally discovered a new species of Firefly while he was out collecting bugs for his entomology project. Joshua Oliva will not be the one to name it though, that honor belongs to the first person to scientifically describe it in scientific literature.
Joshua recently graduated from the U.C. Riverside, which is one of the 10 Universities in the University of California system. A fortunate walk made him one of the lucky few people who discover a new species of insect.
Every year scientists from the University of California Riverside discover dozens of new insect species, but Joshua was just a Student at the time, and not many people can say they made a scientific discovery while they were that young.
Something else was also special about his discovery. He did not find it on the other side of the world or in a dusty cellar housing cases full of specimens, he found it in Topanga California, which might mean it is a new found indigenous species.
Developed countries always have a higher rate of success identifying indigenous species since they have more resources and more scientists out on the field. It is worth mentioning that highly populated developed areas have largely already been combed by biology specialists.
Finding a New species of insect in California, means finding something that thousands of other scientists, biology students and bug enthusiasts missed, it is in fact quite a lucky break.
However luck was not the only part of Joshua’s success, he had carefully read his course books and was able to immediately figure out that the insect looked different from the species he was supposed to find in that area.
He also had the good sense to pursue his curiosity and ask senior researcher Doug Yanega if he could identify the small specimen. Off course Mr. Yanega figure out soon that the specimen had not been identified before and was in fact a new find.
Joshua Oliva might catch a break on naming the new insect though, if further discoveries of the specimen are made and it is proven as a new indigenous species.
Maybe the scientist who will carry out the necessary research into the new bug will kindly ask Joshua to assist, or even reward him for the find by letting him name it.
Image Source: chemistry2011.org