A rare headless ladybug has been found in Idaho. Reuters reported that the ladybug is newly discovered and it tucks its head into its throat. Reuters reported that it is not only a new species but a new "genus" which is a "larger classification of plants and animals."
A graduate student of entemology at Montana State Unviersity, Ross Winton, found the ladybug in 2009 in a trap he set in a sand dune. Reuters reported that Winton sent his ladybug to scientists in Australia and the ladybug was "formally described in a recent issue of the peer-reviewed journal Systemic Entomology," reported Reuters.
Montana State University's website stated, "The ladybug was so small that Winton said he originally thought he had found the body part of an ant. Then he thought the insect was missing its head. He wasn't even sure at first that he had found a ladybug because the insect was tan instead of red and didn't have the spots normally associated with ladybugs."
The ladybug is tan and pinhead-sized, Reuters reported. They are also known as ladybird beetles and only two have ever been collected of the species. One from Winton in Montana and one from a woman in Idaho which makes it the rarest species in the U.S.
Reuters reported the new species is called Allenius iviei and named after Winton's former professor at Montana State University, Michael Ivie.
"The species is very unusual not only because of its small size, unique habitat and rarity, but the fact that its head is pulled back into a tube in its thorax makes its biology quite a mystery," Ivie said on Montana State's website. "It was so unique that it was placed, along with another new species known from Baja California, in a new genus. While discovery of a new species of beetle in the USA is not an everyday event, a completely new genus is quite rare."
See the ladybugs photo here.
Read related articles