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Monday, 12 December 2011

image for New beetle gets named six months after its discovery
The new beetle

There has been a lot of wrangling over the name of the new beetle discovered in northern Finland in June of 2011 with its identification as a new species happening simultaneously between two groups of scientists.

"We believe that we found it first," said Harry Jorgessen of Göteborg University, Sweden's foremost beetle expert and part-time sauna manufacturer. "Our train out of Finland was delayed, and that other lot claimed first discovery."

Joan Lemmon, from the Manchester Botanical Institute in Salford, England, claimed discovery for her University.

"It's all about publishing," she said with a shrug. "We got back first, and submitted the paper first. It doesn't matter that they claim to have found the new beetle in the morning, and we found it at lunchtime."

The order of discovery has been resolved by the two groups getting together to name the new beetle.

"We came up with a lot of names," said Jorgessen. "There was a lot of argumentals. They wanted to name it Ringo, we wanted to name it McCartney. In the end we decided to go with describing it in its name."

The new beetle is about two inches long and deep purple. In this respect it is very similar to the Norwegian Smokey Water beetle from Denmark. It is the mating ritual that marks this new species as distinct from it's Danish cousin.

"It makes a low pitched noise," said Lemmon.

"Both of us thought it sounded very sheep-like," added Jorgessen.

For this reason, they have named the new insect the Baa Hum Bug.

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