New species discovered in Haizhu Wetland| Updated: Feb 22, 2022
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A new insect species named Falsonnanocerus haizhuensis was issued at the Guangdong edition of 2022 World Wetland Day, which was the second time that a new species was found in the Haizhu Wetland.

Last year, a new species of the leaf-beetle genus Sphenoraia Clark, 1836 was discovered in the Haizhu Wetland and was named Sphenoraia (Sphenoraioides) haizhuensis.

Typically, new insect species are found in the wild. However, this new species was discovered in the Haizhu Wetland, which is located in the central urban area of Guangzhou and has a total area of about 1,100 hectares. It is the largest urban wetland in the center of a Chinese megacity. The discovery of a new insect species in an urban center is very uncommon, and to have it happen twice is even rarer.

Zhu Jiang, the discoverer of the new species and a teacher at Haizhu Wetland Nature School, said, "The Falsonnanocerus haizhuensis belongs to the Falsonnanocerus genus, which is rarely observed by humans." He added that the Falsonnanocerus haizhuensis was discovered during the daily monitoring of the Haizhu Wetland Nature School campus. After insect samples, he discovered that the seemingly ordinary insects were not common.

The specimen of the new species is black overall, with a body length of 6.2 millimeters, a slender elongated shape, a moderately raised dorsal surface, a slightly raised ventral surface, and a body covered with short yellow hairs.


The Falsonnanocerus haizhuensis. [Photo/WeChat account: gzhzfb]

The Falsonnanocerus genus is dark in color, with a body length less than 1 cm. It is rarely collected or observed by humans. It was first discovered in Africa, but is mainly found in South Asia and Southeast Asia. The genus contains 14 known species, following the discovery of the new species Falsonnanocerus haizhuensis.

After it was first collected, Zhu and his colleagues conducted high-intensity observations for nearly 20 days, but no new Falsonnanocerus haizhuensis was collected. After conducting research to exclude the 13 previously known species of the genus Falsonnanocerus, it was determined that they had found the first new Falsonnanocerus haizhuensis species of insects in the world. The relevant research results were published in the Biodiversity Data Journal in Dec 2021.

At present, the Haizhu Wetland Nature School occupies 4,000 square meters and has recorded more than 150 species of insects. With the discovery of Falsonnanocerus haizhuensis, there are 536 species of insects in the Haizhu Wetland.

There are also 183 species of birds, 835 species of vascular plants, and 60 species of fish in the Haizhu Wetland. The continuous discovery of new species is due to the increasing improvement of the Haizhu wetland ecological environment in recent years.


The beautiful Haizhu Wetland. [Photo/WeChat account: gzhzfb]

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