A new species of stink bug called Amblycara innocens has been found in Taiwan and on an island called Palawan in the Philippines. Before its discovery, it was believed that the genus Amblycara contained only one species called Amblycara gladiatoria. The news species is described in the journal Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae.
According to Tsai Jing-fu, one of the co-authors, the discovery has implications for the study of transoceanic dispersion, since Taiwan and Palawan are more than 1,000 kilometers apart and have been isolated geographically for millions of years.
“Based on studying specimens of this genus from different geographic areas, we can obtain clues about how Taiwan interacted with surrounding islands in the past,” Tsai said to Taiwan Today. “This is solid taxonomic work that sheds light on east Asian biogeography.”
A. innocens differs slightly from A. gladiatoria in that it has short, laterally directed humeral processes (see side-by-side comparison below).
In fact, the species epithet reflects this, as “innocens” is a Latin word meaning “harmless,” which refers to the short humeral processes of A. innocens in contrast with the strongly produced humeri of A. gladiatoria.
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