Rare New Species of Headless Ladybug Discovered in Montana
Finding a ladybug in the garden is a sign of good luck. Ross Winton, a Montana State University student, not only found good luck but also made scientific history when he discovered a rare species of ladybug considered headless because it can tuck its head inside its body just like a turtle, reports Reuters.
His discovery, made in a Montana sand dune, was one of only two headless ladybugs, also known as ladybird beetles, ever discovered, with another specimen of this rare species a female ladybug found in Idaho.
According to Live Science, Winton’s discovery allowed researchers to confirm that the two specimens belong to a new species, which they named Allenius iviei.
“The tiny species is known from only two individuals, one male and one female, making it qualify for the rarest species in the USA,” Michael Ivie, an MSU entomologist and Winton’s former adviser, said in a statement.
“The species is very unusual not only because of its small size, unique habitat and rarity, but the fact that its head is pulled back into a tube in its thorax makes its biology quite a mystery,” Ivie added.
Collaborating on his new discovery with scientists in Australia, Winton was offically given the rights for claiming discovery of this new species of insect and a story about his discovery recently appeared in the scientific journal Systemic Entomology.
Winton has named the new headless ladybug species after one of his MSU professors, Michael Ivie, calling it Allenius Iviei on an official basis and “Winton Ladybird Beetle” as its common name.