A new species of firefly has recently been discovered in Southern California by an undergraduate student by the name of Joshua Oliva. Joshua was collecting specimens for his semester insect collection. The Entomology Research Museum made the announcement of the discovery at the University of California in Riverside yesterday. Doug Yanega, the head of the museum confirmed the find after Joshua Oliva had brought it to him to inspect.
When Joshua had first collected the inspect he was not sure what it was exactly that he found. He decided to bring it to Doug Yanega for a second opinion who then confirmed that it was a firefly. Doug has a great familiarity with the area and after seeing the specimen knew that this firefly was something new.
Experts at the University of Florida also had a chance to inspect the insect and agreed with Yanega that the specimen is a new species of firefly. The formal announcement was made because the habitat where the firefly was found may end up requiring some protection as they continue to try and learn more about the species. While the discovery is certainly a big moment, especially in Joshua Oliva’s early career, discoveries of new species of insects is actually a fairly common occurrence.
A name for the new species has yet to be determined as they look to uncover more evidence on the species beforehand. This process may end up taking several years to complete. However, there is a chance that we will see the new firefly named after Joshua, as the practice of naming a new species after the person who discovered it is a fairly common practice.