Many new insect species
The biggest discoveries have been made in the major species-rich groups where previous knowledge has been poor including in the groups that include wasps, flies and mosquitoes.
Scientists believe that there are thousands of species in Norway yet to be discovered in these groups. The figures from the taxonomy initiative shows that nearly 60 per cent of the new species are insects or other small terrestrial invertebrates (729 species), including 667 new species of insects, 17 new spider species and 18 new springtail species.
A boost in knowledge about fungi
Fungi represent another large and species-rich group in Norway. Since 2009, scientists have found 227 new fungi species as part of the taxonomy initiative.
Some of these fungal species have been discovered using DNA analysis to clarify the relationship between species. This has led scientists to split some species into two, or to increase the species numbers from 14 to 31, as was the case for coral fungi.
New marine species
Norway's rich marine environment supplied 157 new species, including sponges, snails, slime worms, bristle worms, fish parasites, molluscs and starfish. Another 16 new species were discovered in brackish and fresh water, primarily fish parasites and small crustaceans.
Marine species are not as accessible as terrestrial species for researchers. As a result, 48 per cent of the species found as part of the taxonomy initiative are completely new to the scientific world and have never before been described scientifically.
In comparison, 18 per cent of the new terrestrial species are what
scientists call undescribed species. In some of the very poorly known marine
species groups such as the worm-like (aplacophoran) molluscs that live on the
ocean floor, Aplacophora/shell less molluscs, the pro
|Contact: Ivar Myklebust|
Norwegian University of Science and Technology