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  • 4/24/2010

World's longest insect among haul of new species


The world's longest insect – nearly two feet long – is among more than 100 new species discovered in the remote rainforests of Borneo.

The stick insect, which measures 22 inches long, was among the 123 new creatures discovered in the Heart of Borneo, an 85,000 square mile conservation area set up in 2007.

The amazing creature, which lives in the high tree canopies of the forest and is known as Phobaeticus chani, has been donated to the Natural History Museum in London.   Other remarkable finds, listed in the report by World Wildlife Fund, include a flying frog that can glide for more than 15 yards using flaps under its arms and legs and a slug which fires love darts laced with hormones at its mate.

The Heart Of Borneo plan was set up by the three bordering governments, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia, who all pledged to conserve a tract of tropical forest almost as big as the UK that is home to pygmy elephants, orangutans, rhinoceros and clouded leopards.

The new discoveries also includes a frog which breaths through its skin, a flame-colored snake, a “spectacled flowerpecker” bird which is thought to rarely descend from the canopy, 29 invertebrates, 17 fish and 37 new species of orchid

Adam Tomasek, leader of WWF's Heart of Borneo initiative, said: “As the past three years of independent scientific discovery have proven, new forms of life are constantly being discovered in the Heart of Borneo.

“If this stretch of irreplaceable rainforest can be conserved for our children, the promise of more discoveries must be a tantalizing one for the next generation of researchers to contemplate.

“The discovery of these new species in the Heart of Borneo underlines the incredible diversity of this remarkable area and emphasizes the importance of the commitments already made by Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia to protect it.”

Source: tehrantimes.com 

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