Blog and Ideas
September 12, 2012
By Víctor Ramos

A new insect is discovered thanks to Flickr

Thanks to Flickr, the entomologist Shaun Winterton discovered a new species of cannibal insect.

A new insect is discovered thanks to Flickr

Many people may think that discovering new species requires an expert level of knowledge about existing species and traveling to remote places to justify the fact that it hasn’t been discovered already.

But that doesn’t seem to be a requisite anymore and it isn’t necessary to trek to far-flung locates and live for months in an inhospitable place to contribute to science.

The living proof is entomologist Shaun Winterton, who discovered a new species of Malayasian carnivorous insect from the crisopa family without leaving his house. How’s that possible? Thanks to social networks.

Shaun was very comfortably surfing the web when he ended up checking out some photography albums on Flickr where he found a picture taken by amateur photographer Guek Hock Phing while he was hiking in Malaysia.

After consulting on the photo with his colleagues from work, Winterton made contact with the photographer and sent the photo and a specimen to Simon Brookes from the Natural History Museum in London, which ended confirming the discovery.

The new species was named Semachrysa Jade in honor of Winterton’s daughter. This discovery has been heralded as an example of how new technologies and social networks can contribute to science.

Víctor Ramos is Community Manager at Mijo! Brands in Mexico.

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