Rare 'headless' ladybug discovered

2012-10-25 14:24
Scientists have discovered a ladybug that tucks its head into its throat - making it not only a new species, but an entirely new genus. (Jeff Horner, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, AP)

Scientists have discovered a ladybug that tucks its head into its throat - making it not only a new species, but an entirely new genus. (Jeff Horner, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Salmon - Sleepy Hollow has its headless horseman and now Montana has a headless ladybug.

The newly discovered insect tucks its head into its throat - making it not only a new species but an entirely new genus, or larger classification of plants and animals.

Ross Winton captured the insect in 2009 in traps he set in a sand dune while an entomology graduate student at Montana State University. Winton, now a wildlife technician in Idaho, at first thought he had parts of an ant but then discovered the bug can hide its head, much like a turtle ducking into its shell.

Winton sent his discovery to scientists in Australia working on this group of insects and the headless ladybug was formally described in a recent issue of the peer-reviewed journal Systemic Entomology.

Just two specimens of the tan, pinhead-sized ladybugs, also known as ladybird beetles, have ever been collected, a male in Montana and a female in Idaho, scientists said, making it the rarest species in the US.

Rare

Entomologists historically used males to describe beetle species so the credit for the new discovery went to Winton.

However, the new species - Allenius iviei - was named after his former professor and Montana State University entomologist Michael Ivie.

The insect, with the proposed common name "Winton's Ladybird Beetle", may prey on aphids and other plant pests.

Ivie said it was rare to discover a new beetle in the US and rarer still to uncover a completely new genus. The discovery is no small accomplishment considering the bug is the size and colour of a grain of sand, he added.

He said it was unclear why the beetle slips its head into a tube in its midsection.

"It's a whole new kind of ladybug. Whatever this does, it is very specialised. It's quite the exciting little beast," Ivie said.
Read more on:    insects
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

7 tips for the ultimate family camping trip

Taking the kids on a camping trip can be one of the most memorable holidays they will ever have!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!
Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.