True Bugs

Keanui’s Biodiversity Bonanza

Keanui’s Biodiversity Bonanza

Gerald McCormack, Natural Heritage Trust

First published Cook Islands News (5th June 2021), here (6th June 2021)

Entomologist at work!

Residents often talk about Cook Islands biodiversity, but few have discovered as many unrecorded species as 6-year-old Keanui Selam.  His recent insect-catching expeditions led to the discovery of eight unrecorded species of Heteroptera, a group of insects known as true bugs, or typical bugs.

True bugs all have a proboscis of long tubular mouthparts, which some use to suck the sap of plants; while others use it to spear and suck the juices out of caterpillars and other insects. The first group are farmers’ foes, while the latter are farmers’ friends. Continue reading →

Posted by Gerald in Animals, 0 comments
Raemaru Biodiversity Expedition

Raemaru Biodiversity Expedition

Gerald McCormack, Natural Heritage Trust, 06 Jan. 2021

Joseph on cliff to the top.

The invertebrate biodiversity expedition on Raemaru encountered three unique Rarotonga insects, one undescribed, and of the seven locally-unrecorded species, only one was able to be identified.

In December, Maja Poeschko and Kirby Morejohn joined the author and Joseph Brider of the Trust on an expedition to the top of Raemaru. The plan was to survey insects and spiders with a primary goal of finding and photographing the small psyllid insect that was found locally for the first time on a single shrub in 2017.

Continue reading →

Posted by Gerald in Animals, Terrestrial, 0 comments