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Tahiti: A Paradise for New Beetle Species

Mont Aorai, Tahiti

Tahiti

(Image credit: James Kenneth Liebherr)

The steep slopes of Tahitian mountains isolate insect communities by creating physical barriers between ridges, and by being vulnerable to rain and erosion that fragments populations and leads to species divergence.

Bug catching in the rainforest

nylon sheet

(Image credit: James Kenneth Liebherr)

The researchers, led by a Cornell entomologist, first spray low foliage with an organic chemical and then collect the bugs on a white sheet.

Mecyclothorax muriauxi

beetle

(Image credit: James Kenneth Liebherr)

Mecyclothorax kayballae

beetle

(Image credit: James Kenneth Liebherr)

Mecyclothorax taatitore

beetle

(Image credit: James Kenneth Liebherr)
Laura Poppick
Laura Poppick is a contributing writer for Live Science, with a focus on earth and environmental news. Laura has a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Laura has a good eye for finding fossils in unlikely places, will pull over to examine sedimentary layers in highway roadcuts, and has gone swimming in the Arctic Ocean.