'44 new insect species discovered in Turkey'

By Ahmet Bayram

MANISA, Turkey (AA) – Some 44 new insect species have been discovered in Turkey over recent years, most of them hunters that benefit agriculture, according to a Turkish scientist.

Research on insect species has been ongoing for eight years with the support of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Sinan Anlas, an entomologist at Celal Bayar University in Turkey’s Aegean region, told Anadolu Agency.

“We found 20 new species [in Turkey] three years ago. Now, with the 44 more we have discovered, the number of new insect types found in Turkey has reached 64,” he said.

“Since last year, we have been focusing on the Mediterranean, Marmara, and Black Sea regions, and this will go on until 2022.”

He said most of the newly found species are hunters that are benefit for agriculture, adding that their impact on human health is still being investigated.

The insects have been named after the regions where they were discovered to make sure the world knows they were found in Turkey, according to Anlas.

“For example, we found a completely blind insect species in mountain ranges in Turkey. This species normally lives at low altitudes and in caves, but we found it in the Taurus Mountains, Geyik Mountains, and the Reze Beli Pass at an altitude of around 2,500 meters,” he said.

“This species garnered particular attention from European scientists; our colleagues from Italy also asked for samples of the species.”

* Writing by Busra Nur Cakmak