Tue, Mar 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Eight new insect species discovered on Dadan Island

HIGH RISK:The sudden appearance of the tropical hornet in June last year on Dadan Island necessitates further study, researcher Chang Yung-jen said

By Wu Cheng-ting and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Kinmen National Park Administration recently announced the discovery of eight insect species previously not known to exist on Dadan Island (大膽島), including the Chlaenius junceus, or yellow-spotted vivid metallic ground beetle.

The park said that the abundance of unique species on the island set a nationwide record, adding that the discoveries warrant further observation and research.

Dadan is to open to tourism soon, the park said, but added that the discovery of a poisonous tropical hornet on the island requires investigation.

Although only one hornet was found, the situation should be monitored as a precautionary measure, it said.

Researcher Chang Yung-jen (張永仁), who in 2015 was tasked with collecting data on insects on Lieyu (烈嶼) — also known as Little Kinmen — said his two-year study uncovered the yellow-spotted beetle, a longhorn beetle (Coptops lichenea), a tropical hornet, the red broad-shouldered leaf beetle (Gonioctena fulva), a species of the yellow and brown geometrid moth (Plutodes exquisita), the forest hopper butterfly (Astictopterus jama chinensis) and the black and yellow-striped clearwing moth (Nokona pernix).

Chang said the sudden appearance of the tropical hornet in June last year should be studied, adding that he hopes to learn whether its appearance was accidental or if the insects established a presence on the island.

The hornet is a social insect that generally travels in swarms, he said, adding that it poses a particularly high risk to animals and humans.

The park said that with its small area of only 0.79km2, Dadan’s approximately 350 insect species make it a fascinating place for entomologists.

The main island of Kinmen in comparison has 1,000 insect species and a significantly larger area of 153km2, it said.

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