Planet Earth

5 Small Wild Things Make Their World Debut

Among them: a see-through frog, a moth who lives one day as an adult, and one lonely beetle.

By Brenda PoppyNov 30, 2015 12:00 AM
Primitively Perfect
This coin-size Australian moth with iridescent wings retains features from primitive moths, and its entire adult life spans a single day. Scientists named this tiny enigma Aenigmatinea glatzella. | You Ning So/CSIRO

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Discovering a new species is never easy. But it’s especially difficult when the species in question is relatively rare — and smaller than a breadbox. Yet sharp-eyed scientists found several Lilliputian species in 2015, including these five.


Capelatus prykei, a 0.3-inch diving beetle found in Cape Town wetlands, is an orphan of a bug, earning it its own genus. Its closest kin live thousands of miles away and haven’t shared an ancestor for at least 30 million years. | David Bilton/Plymouth University
Kermit the Frog has a 1-inch doppelganger in the Costa Rican glass frog species Hyalinobatrachium dianae. But this tiny frog’s belly is transparent, revealing its organs. | Brian Kubicki
This coin-size Australian moth with iridescent wings retains features from primitive moths, and its entire adult life spans a single day. Scientists named this tiny enigma Aenigmatinea glatzella. | You Ning So/CSIRO
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