30 New Fly Species Identified
30 New Fly Species Identified

In a recent paper due to be published in the Journal Zootaxa next month, Los Angeles native Emily Hartop will announce about her discovery of 30 new species of fly.

Hartop, an entomologist at Los Angeles’s Natural History Museum, said these previously unknown species were discovered during a brief three-month scan of local backyards and gardens.

Hartop in a phone interview with The Washington Post said, “I’d be less surprised to find hundreds of new species of Megaselia [a common genus of fly] at a remote site in Costa Rica than I was to find 30 new species right here in L.A”.

It is to inform that the new species were uncovered as part of the natural History Museuim’s Biodiversity Science: City and Nature (BioSCAN) project.

The project for the first time was launched in 2012 and was inspired by a bet with a museum trustee, who didn’t believe that principal investigator Brian Brown could discover a new species amid LA’s sprawl of smog and concrete.

Brown said in a press release that he always thought that they had the potential to discover new species wherever they sample whether it be urban or tropical region. But discovery of 30 new species from heavily urbanized area is really astonishing for them, he said.

It was told that volunteers for the project set up to 30 insect traps across the greater LA region. These nets were placed in backyards, in a community garden, at an elementary school, at local cooperative called Los Angeles Eco Village and in the museum’s own nature garden.

Volunteers associated with the study emptied the traps every week and delivered the content to Hartop, who was responsible for identifying and cataloging them.

Finally after concluding that the insects are new to science, Hartop and her colleagues carefully created their own keys for the 30 new kinds of fly, taking detailed anatomical notes and minuscule photographs of their varied but equally unsightly forms.