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Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

 Федеральный исследовательский центр  «Красноярский научный центр  Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук»

Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

Scientists have discovered a new insect species in Siberia

25 April 2019 г.

Ученые открыли в Сибири новый вид насекомого
A team of scientists has discovered in Krasnoyarsk a new type of leaf blotch miner moth which is a potential pest of shrubs. This is not the first new species of insect discovered in recent years by scientists of the the V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS in Krasnoyarsk and adjacent regions. Such discoveries suggest that Siberia is still a “white spot”, a region with insufficiently studied biodiversity.The investigation results are published in the journal ZooKeys.

The development of molecular genetic methods has significantly simplified the task of discovering and identifying new species of animals and plants. For example, for insects, DNA analysis allows one to determine to what species the organism belongs, even at the larval or pupal stages, which often do not differ in appearance in close species. With the help of genetic analysis, scientists can not only identify new insect species, but also correct shortcomings of early identification.

Krasnoyarsk scientists, together with colleagues from France and Italy, discovered in Siberia a new type of leaf blotch miners. The caterpillars of this species cause a peculiar damage to the leaves – the leaves are covered with small brown patches (mines), as the insects eat away the leaves from the inside without damaging the skin. The species develops on Caragana, which is a shrub used to create hedges in Siberian cities and towns. At the time of their detection, the number of the insects was not high, and did not cause appreciable damage to its host plant.
“A new kind of leaf miners was discovered in Akademgorodok, in Krasnoyarsk. In the beginning, we collected only a couple of caterpillars that were subjected to molecular genetic diagnostics. By genetic characteristics, it became clear that we were dealing with a new species. The following summer, we were able to collect butterflies for further specifying. The study of the pattern on the front wings and genitals of males and females showed that the Siberian species is very different from the previously known one, which feeds on Caragana in the Far East of Russia. The new species was named Phyllonorycter ivani in honor of my father, whose name is Ivan, he has always supported my interest to entomology, ”says co-author Natalia Kirichenko, Cand. of Biol. Sci., senior research associate at the V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest KSC SB RAS and Siberian Federal University.

The researcher notes that this is not the only species discovered by the team. Over the past five years, scientists have found out five new insect species: three in Siberia and one in Japan and another in China. “In 2015, we described another leaf miner moth in Krasnoyarsk which could significantly spoil the appearance of plants in the city. Previously, it was confused with the European species, but we have shown that this is not the case, and here, in Siberia, it is the local moth which damages plants, ” adds Natalia Kirichenko.
The study of the species diversity of insects in the region at the genetic level, the cataloging and compilation of DNA libraries make it possible to increase the knowledge of the fauna as well as to discover and describe new species for science.

This is important for the early detection of species which come to Siberia from other regions and are capable of damaging plants here.



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Федеральный исследовательский центр «Красноярский научный центр Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук»
РоссияКрасноярскКрасноярский край660036, г. Красноярск, ул. Академгородок, 50
+7 (391) 290-79-88fic@ksc.krasn.ru55.99178392.765381