A new beetle found in Mozambique by naturalist Will Watson, has been named Haliplus Watsoni.
Will Watson, from Docklow, discovered the water beetle on a trip to northern Mozambique.
It took a year and a half for international experts to agree it was a new type, and to give it the name Haliplus Watsoni.
Will Watson says it’s a rare thing for a species to be named after the finder, “I only know of a couple of people who’ve found new species, and I don’t know anyone who’s had something named after them.”
The water beetle was discovered in a floodplain pool on the Manda Wilderness Community Game Reserve in the Great Rift Valley.
The new beetle is very small, measuring only 2.7 mm long which is the size of a full stop in a newspaper.
The discovery came at some cost to Will Watson, on the expedition he was bitten by a microscopic parasite, and became ill when he returned to Herefordshire, “Unfortunately I picked up a parasite on the side of the lake. I got a little swelling on my base of my foot that itched a bit, and I didn’t think any more of it, and about three months later I started getting other symptoms, and I got diagnosed. It was the first time they’d seen it in Leominster, certainly.”
Will siad that having the beetle named after him made all the pain and illness worthwhile.
by David Livingstone