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Rediscovery of a ‘lost’ species after 130 years in the Malaysian rainforest!



Heterosphecia tawonoides Kallies, a ‘‘lost’’ species of clearwing moth known only from a single specimen from 1887 (the holotype, which is missing important morphological features), was observed and filmed for the first time in its natural habitat. Our studies have shown that it is associated with Malaysian primary lowland dipterocarp forests, ecosystems which are vanishing rapidly due to extensive human activity. This is the first record of Heterosphecia tawonoides in Malaysia. Behavioral aspects, such as mud-puddling among bees and acoustic mimicry, are discussed in our article (Tropical Conservation Science (2017) 10:1-7) and shown in a video. A morphological redescription, including features visible on live individuals only, is provided. The DNA barcode sequence is given, with comparison to closely related species. The rediscovery has brought worldwide attention, including Science magazine, major news press relaeses and interviews of the lead scientist – dr Marta Skowron Volponi:


Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/12/researchers-find-moth-last-seen-130-years-ago

Global Wildlife Conservation: https://www.globalwildlife.org/press-room/bee-mimicking-clearwing-moth-buzzes-back-to-life-after-130-years/)


InSitu Science: https://insituscience.com/2017/11/29/bee-mimicking-moth-rediscovered-after-130-years/

The Scientist: https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/51186/title/Image-Of-The-Day–Moth-Resurrection/

The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/15/lost-species-of-bee-mimicking-moth-rediscovered-after-130-years


The Dodo: https://www.thedodo.com/in-the-wild/oriental-blue-clearwing-moth-rediscovered-malaysia

Atlas Obscuara: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/found-bee-mimicking-moth-heterosphecia-tawonoides

Phys.org: https://phys.org/news/2017-12-bee-mimicking-clearwing-moth-life-years.html


Asia Research News: https://www.researchsea.com/html/article.php/aid/11290/cid/1/research/science/researchsea/bee-mimicking_clearwing_moth_buzzes_back_to_life_after_130_years__.html

Tropical Conservation Science
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