An unknown species of mosquito was found in Russia: identified by genitals

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Rare, not previously studied mosquitoes and flies – eating fallen wood – were found on the territory of the Kivach nature reserve by employees of the Forest Institute of the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Scientists first described the external signs and lifestyle of 11 species of Diptera.

These insects, unlike our usual ones, feed on rotten wood.

As the “MK” was informed in the Russian Science Foundation, the unique species of xylophiles (“wood-loving”) found can only develop in a special environment – on large deciduous trees felled by the wind or under them, feeding on mushrooms, moss or lichens (for information, males of habitual for us, mosquitoes eat plant sap, and females eat human blood). Since 2015, scientists have collected 105 species of beetles, flies and mosquitoes, among which there were rare and poorly studied species not only for Karelia, but also for all other territories. So, for example, mosquitoes detritus, rotten bird and swamp, living under the bark of dead aspens, if they were ever mentioned, then only once and without a description of the characteristics. Many mosquitoes, due to their small size (about 2-3 mm), were previously generally taken as one species. Karelian researchers managed to divide some only according to the peculiarities of the structure of the male genital organs.

To detect representatives of rare species of insects and study their characteristics (some lead a secretive lifestyle), scientists used special traps. This is a semblance of a small tent, which is fixed on a fallen tree right in the forest in such a way that all insects flying from the surface of the trunk fall into a special container with a fixing liquid.

Xylophilic insects, participating in the destruction of wood debris, are very important for maintaining ecological balance. Recently, however, the threat of extinction has loomed over them, since forests have begun to be cut down more actively, and timber has been exported without waiting for its natural decomposition.