Friday, 28 August 2015

Creature 332: Jimia

Finished my thesis! You get a sneak peek. 

Today I submitted my PhD thesis (at last). Yay! In celebration of that fact I am showing you a glimpse of a bizarre creature which I described in my thesis.

Jimia is a genus containing two of over 10,000 known species in the family Miridae. Most mirids look more or less the same, small and green with more wing than anything else. Obviously with over 10,000 species there are plenty of exceptions. Jimia does not fit into this category.

Jimia spectabilis, female

So what makes them bizarre? The genus was first described by Carvalho in 1989, and other than that initial description I am the only one to look at them.  I have described a second species although a few seriously damaged specimens I have seen indicate that there may be many more. As soon as I put them under an SEM I knew they were special. They have a type of setae with a 3-5 pronged head, like a propeller. I can only guess at what they are for, and I am the expert. No one even knows these structures exists except you (my readers) a few people in my lab, maybe a couple of random friends and a few girls I was trying to impress.

Setae in Jimia spectabilis, a new species in my thesis

I could go on about these bugs for a while, but I don't want to bore you. If you want to know more you will have to read my thesis.

Jimia are only known from 6 locations in Papua New Guinea.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Miridae
Genus: Jimia

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