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How to register a new species
October 3, 2011 9:49 am
The subject says it all really… how do I go about registering a new species?
Nice site by the way, very interesting!
Signature: Tim

Hi Tim,
We don’t know how to go about registering a new species, but we suspect one of our readers will be able to supply that information.  Coincidentally, while posting a photo of an unknown Golden Silk Spider from Taiwan, we learned that:  “At last count there were 28,700 spiders known from Australia BUT only 7,000 have been described. It costs up to $1,500 to describe a species and can take 3-4 years to get published. By ROSCO  Dr R J Ross” on the OzarkWild website.  That might be for Australian registrations.

Thank you for your email Daniel.
You don’t seem to have a forum on your site. Whats the best way for me to ask your readers the process for registering a new species in different countries.
I read somewhere that you needed an expert in the field to describe it and name it in a journal but that sounds very unofficial.
Tim Parsons

Hi again Tim,
You may post a comment to this posting, or you may try our Facebook or Twitter options.  Our editorial staff strongly controls the content of the actual website, but there is much uncensored dialog on the Facebook and Twitter accounts.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

5 Responses to How to Register a New Species

  1. Dane Harris says:

    I noticed that bit about the time and the cost, but I didn’t find any clues regarding where to look for information describing the process itself. This seems like a stupid thing to be frustrated by. I should just google “registration of new species in Taiwan,” right? Umm… not so useful, in fact.

  2. Susan J. Hewitt says:

    OK. I should first explain that an expert in the particular group of insects (or other bugs) has to do all the work. An amateur should never do this.

    The scientist has to make quite certain that this is indeed a new species and not an unusual form of a pre-existing species. The researcher also has to make quite sure that the species has never been described before, even in some obscure journal 100 years ago. Then the scientist has to write a paper which includes a very detailed description of the insect, including sometimes details of the genitalia. Also info about where the bug lives and what it eats and so on, and very good illustrations of the bug/bugs.

    Most scientists will NOT describe a species from just one specimen; they usually need a group of individuals so it is quite clear that the bug you found is not just one freak individual.

    Then the scientist has to submit the paper to a reputable journal. Then the paper has to go out for peer review, and if it passes peer review it can still be a year or two before the paper appears in print. The scientist has to place specimens of the species in more than one leading museum, and in the paper, one of the specimens has to be designated as the “holotype”, which defines the species.

    Your first task would be to find an academic who specializes in the family or subfamily of bugs and who is prepared to look at what you have.

    Susan J. Hewitt

    So there is no registration process. It’s all about research and putting together a scientific publication. No reputable journal will accept a new species description from an amateur.

    • bugman says:

      Wow, thank you for such a thorough explanation of the process Susan. As always, your contributions to What’s That Bug? are greatly appreciated.

  3. Muhammad Bilal Umer says:

    I was going in my room after sunset. Suddenly saw a specie with eyes blinking like a car. Those eyes makes the surrounding glow. The size of the specie was like a butterfly initial stage larva. It was so fascinating when I use my torch with high beam those eyes started dimming.
    It was surprise for me.

  4. My son found a bug I cant identify , it has 5 tentacles and 1 gimp tentacle and I have a pictures and a video . I haven’t ever seen anything with tentacles on land . And we’ve had weird clouds and UFO activity that I’ve reported to Mufon .

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