Rare and Newly Discovered: Creepy Crawlies


Here on the Wild Wire we have been taking a close look at Conservation International’s RAP program and the many new species that they have discovered. Today we are jumping into the world of bugs! Some are a little creepy others more crawly and all of them are amazing examples of the incredible diversity that lives on this planet.

Fish-hook ant (polyrhachis bihamata)

fish hook ant, polyrhachis bihamata
Fish hook ant. Copyright Piotr Naskrecki

Where RAP found us: We were found in 2007 in Virachey National Park in Cambodia. We have also been seen in the Philippines, Java, Laos, Sumatra, India and China. Just look for us on dead tree trunks on the ground.

New or rare: Rare

What we look like: Measuring 1.5cm, we’re a large ant with 3 sets of sharp hooks coming out from our backs.

Why we’re interesting: Our hooks are so sharp that they can cut through your skin. When we are attacked we hook onto each other and it is difficult to separate us, which is a great way for us to defend ourselves against predators.

Tigress Ant (Strumigenys tigris)

tigress ant strumigenys tirgris
Tigress ant. Copyright. Piotr Naskrecki

Where RAP found us: On an expedition to the Muller Range in Papua New Guinea in 2009. We can be found in the rainforests.

New or rare: Rare

What we look like: We are a really small ant, measuring just 2mm long. We camouflage well into our surroundings, blending in with rotting sticks

Why we’re interesting: We may be small, but we are great at capturing prey. We walk around with our mandibles open so that when we get close enough to small invertebrates we can shut them very fast, capturing our prey.

The RAP katydid (Brachyamytta rapidoaestima)

katydid brachyamytta rapidoaestima
katydid. Copyright Piotr Naskrecki

Where RAP found us: Around Ghana and Guinea in 2006. We live in the most threatened area that RAP is trying to save in West Africa.

New or rare: New

What we look like: We are a small Katydid and we can’t fly.

Why we’re interesting: We hide under leaves, wait for an unsuspecting small insect to land on it and make our move to capture our dinner. Males make songs that attract females but you can’t hear them because they are ultrasonic.

Peacock Katydid (Pterochroza ocellata)

peacock katydid pterochroza ocellata
Peacock Katydid. Copyright Piotr Naskrecki

Where RAP found us: In 2006, we were spotted in the Acarai Mountains in Guyana. We live in lowland, undisturbed Rainforests throughout the Guiana Shield.

New or rare: Rare

What we look like: When our wings are closed we are brown but when open they are many different colours

Why we’re interesting: It may seem weird that we can look so different from one second to the next, but it comes in really handy. With our wings closed, we can blend in with dead leaves. When we jump around with our open wings, we look like a big bird’s head and can scare away attackers. Like the RAP katydid, males also emit an ultrasonic noise that is used to attract females.

peacock katydid pterochroza ocellata
Peacock katydid. Copyright Piotr Naskrecki

Take a look at the rest of the collection featuring creatures that soarswimclimb and have armour. Be sure to keep a look out for the next edition that will feature BIG animals!





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