Researchers find over 100 new beetle species and aren’t stopping there
If you have a pet, the following situation might sound familiar to you. You open up the bag of food, your pet dancing around in ecstasy about an inch from the bowl (if you have a dog, at least), and you start shoveling out the contents of the bag into your pet’s dish. Now, normally the pet should start eating out of it like an absolute maniac. But this time, they don’t do that. Instead, they just kind of sniff it a couple times and look back up at you longingly.
Upon closer inspection of the bowl, something about it catches your eye. You stare at it before mustering up every fiber of your strength not to throw up. “Holy crap, that food is moving.” Turns out, you’ve got a whole bunch of little beetles called “weevils” squirming around in your new bag of food from PetSmart, chowing down on what’s rightfully your pet’s. Weevils come in all shapes and sizes, and believe it or not, there are people out there who have dedicated their lives to identifying and preserving hundreds of species of weevil that we might not have some day.
The Quest To Find All The Weevils
If examining the tiny gonads of beetles on a hot summer’s day sounds like your cup of tea, just get out there and find some new weevil species. Until then, we’ll have to leave the work to a very dedicated German entomologist named Alexander Riedel. For the past year, this man and his partner, Raden Pramesa Narakusumo, have single-handedly identified over 100 new species of weevil on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The results of the study, published earlier this month, show just how determined people can be when it comes to finding things we never knew existed. These things may sound trivial, but it’s important to realize that species of insects are going extinct every day without us ever knowing about them. Discoveries like this mean that we have knowledge of them. It may not seem like it, but the knowledge of a hundred random weevil beetles from Indonesia may come in very handy in solving other problems someday.
The Best All-Purpose Beetle Man
It doesn’t stop there: aside from them having an additional 30 beetles that have yet to be fully analyzed, this isn’t the first time the scientific community has heard tell of Riedel’s adventures. And yes, of course, they’re all weevil-related. In fact, this isn’t the first time that he’s surfaced with over a hundred new species of weevil. Back in that bittersweet year of 2013, he and a team of researchers from Germany and Indonesia stumbled upon a whopping 101 new variations of weevil. Because they found so many at once, they had to rush through the naming process in order to get the information out. “Trigonopterus yoda,” named after Yoda from Star Wars, is only one of the plethora of awesome names given to these bugs. At least they were somewhat original with it. Things as boring as “Trigonopterus bob” are luckily nowhere to be found.
So what does this all mean for weevils? Well, you shouldn’t worry about new breeds of exotic weevil in your animal’s food, unless somebody’s dumb enough to accidentally ship a few over here and make them yet another invasive species. As it stands, this is definitely a step in the right direction in terms of preserving all of these animals that would’ve just died off otherwise. You have to keep in mind, with each new discovery of an insect species, that’s another link in the evolutionary chain that may come in handy someday. Maybe we’ll find out that a rare weevil species manufacture a chemical that’s the cure for cancer or something. Nevertheless, when it comes to species we never knew about, the more the merrier.