This Newly Discovered Fluffy Beetle Is Cuter’n A Bug’s Ear

Serendipitous discovery of a new longhorn beetle species that was almost mistaken for a bird poop on a leaf

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The UQ researcher discovered the fluffy beetle on a leaf in the Gold Coast rainforest. (Credit: James Tweed)

A PhD student at the University of Queensland recently discovered a new genus of longhorn beetle whilst camping in an ancient rainforest on Australia’s Gold Coast.

“I was walking through the campsite at Binna Burra Lodge one morning and something on a Lomandra leaf caught my eye,” said discoverer, entomologist James Tweed, in a statement.

The Binna Burra Ecotourism Lodge is located within Lamington National Park in southeast Queensland. Lamington National Park is part of the ancient Gondwana Rainforests of Australia’s World Heritage Area, and is home to a variety of unusual wildlife and birds, particularly the rare Albert’s lyrebird. ‘Binna Burra’ is an Aboriginal phrase meaning ‘where the beech tree grows,’ referring to a stand of Antarctic Beech growing nearby.

Antarctic Beech trees (Nothofagus moorei) at “Tullawallul” in Lamington National Park, roughly a 3 kilometre hike from Binna Burra ecotourism lodge. The name, Binna Burra, is an Aboriginal word meaning “where the beech tree grows,” referring to a stand of Antarctic Beech growing in the nearby rainforest. (Credit: Lady Alys / CC BY-SA 3.0)

“To my amazement, I saw the most extraordinary and fluffiest longhorn beetle I had ever seen,” continued Mr Tweed, whose doctoral research focuses on the conservation…

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𝐆𝐫𝐫𝐥𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭, scientist & journalist
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PhD evolutionary ecology/ornithology. Psittacophile. SciComm senior contributor at Forbes, former SciComm at Guardian. Also on Substack at 'Words About Birds'.