About 10 years ago, Guangzhou restored a 10,000-mu (667 hectares) orchard into a 1,100-hectare wetland park in the middle of the city.
The 10,000-mu orchard. [Photo/WeChat account: gzhzfb]
The 10,000-mu orchard has a history of hundreds of years, and in earlier days spanned four streets and eight villages in Huazhou, Guanzhou, Nanzhou and Jianghai in Haizhu district. It was the largest concentrated orchard planting area in Guangzhou. In 1991, the Guangzhou municipal government first characterized it as the "southern lung" of Guangzhou. In 2000, the 10-thousand-mu orchard was designated as a fruit tree protection area.
With the optimization of the ecological environment, the old factories and workshops around the Haizhu Wetland Park have been transformed into creative industrial parks one after another, attracting a group of innovative and high-value-added enterprises to settle down.
In July 2020, Haizhu Wetland cooperated with the Institute of Zoology of the Guangdong Academy of Sciences to establish a joint team to launch an insect diversity survey.
In 2021, a new species of the leaf-beetle genus Sphenoraia Clark, 1836 was discovered in the Haizhu Wetland Park and was named Sphenoraia (Sphenoraioides) haizhuensis.
Sphenoraia (Sphenoraioides) haizhuensis. [Photo/WeChat account: gzhzfb]
Typically, new insect species are found in the wild. However, this new species was discovered in the Haizhu Wetland Park, 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 new insect species in an urban center is very uncommon.