Discovery Exclusive: Monkey with Blue Genitals Makes Top 10 New Species of 2012
A new monkey with a blue backside and human-like eyes is one of the top ten newly identified species of 2012.
The international Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University announced its list of the top 10 species officially described in 2012. The publication of the list marks the birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, founder of the modern system of species classification.
A glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge and the smallest frog on Earth are among the most bizarre newly discovered species of 2012, chosen by scientists.
Also slithering into this year's top ten is a snail-eating false coral snake, as well as flowering bushes from a disappearing forest in Madagascar.
The International Institute also included a green lacewing that was discovered through social media, hanging flies that perfectly mimicked ginkgo tree leaves 165 million years ago for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and a tiny violet and a black staining fungus that threatens rare Paleolithic cave paintings in France.
According to the institute's founding director, Quentin Wheeler, the list is meant to raise awareness about the many undiscovered or unclassified species on planet Earth. According to a research article published on PLOS Biology, of the 7.4 million to 10 million species on the planet, only about 1.2 million have been cataloged. This means that, of all the species that currently exist the world, we only know about 8.6 percent of them.
This glow-in-the dark cockroach was described in 2012 and now may already be extinct. A single specimen was discovered 70 years ago in Ecuador. Its scientific name is Lucihormetica luckae.
This green lacewing insect was discovered after photographer Hock Ping Guek posted a photo of the bug to Flickr, and it was Shaun Winterton, an entomologist with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, who spotted this new species. Its scientific name is Semachrysa jade.
Carnivorous sponge has large, harp- or lyre-shaped vanes, with more than 20 parallel vertical branches, often found with a balloon-like ball on the top. The lyre sponge uses its harp-shaped arms to capture plankton floating in the deep waters of the northeast Pacific Ocean, off the California coast. Its scientific name is Chondrocladia lyra.
A snail-eating snake that was discovered in Serranía de Tabasará mountain range in Panama "No a la mina" means "no to the mine" in Spanish. The snake is nocturnal and hunts soft-bodied prey including earthworms and amphibian eggs, as well as snails and slugs. The snake is not a threat to humans and can ward off prey by mimicking the dark and light rings found on venomous coral snakes. Its scientific name is Sibon noalamina.
This frog is the tiniest vertebrate with adults averaging a mere 7.7 millimeters in length. The brown-and-black mottled amphibian was found in New Guinea. The frog lives in moist leaf litter. Its scientific name is Paedophryne amanuensis.
The Lilliputian violet stands only 1 centimeter tall and grows in only one place in the Peruvian Andes. It takes its name from the tiny race of people in Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels." Its scientific name is Viola lilliputana.
This endangered evergreen shrub grows about 6.5 feet high and displays clusters of dark pink flowers. The plant inhabits the fragmented coastal forest of Madagascar. The extremely bio-diverse forests also face massive pressure from expanding human settlement, farming and logging. Its scientific name is Eugenia petrikensis.
This black fungus was discovered growing on the walls of the famous Ice Age paintings in Lascaux cave, France. The fungus defaced the prehistoric art and left a dark stain. Its scientific name is Ochroconis anomala.
Middle Jurassic Mimic
This hanging fly was found along with preserved leaves of a gingko-like tree, in Middle Jurassic deposits from China's Inner Mongolia. This discovery is a rare example of an insect mimicking a gymnosperm 165 million years ago. Its scientific name is Juracimbrophlebia ginkgofolia.
Blue Testicled Monkey
Male lesula monkeys have bald, brilliant blue testicles, buttocks and perineum. Residents of the Democratic Republic of the Congo regularly hunt the monkey for food, but primatologists did not see this mammal until 2007. Lesulas are only the second species of monkey discovered in Africa in the past 28 years. Although the forests where the monkeys live are remote, the species is hunted for bush meat and its status is vulnerable. Its scientific name is Cerocopithecus lomamiensis.
Check out:The top ten new species of 2012