Written by Binna Burra

March 21, 2024

While camping at Binna Burra, a researcher from The University of Queensland has discovered a new genus of fluffy longhorn beetle.

The freshly named Excastra albopilosa was found by University of Queensland School of the Environment PhD candidate James Tweed, who nearly mistook the beetle for bird droppings.

“I was walking through the campsite at Binna Burra Lodge one morning and something on a Lomandra leaf caught my eye,” Mr Tweed said.

ABC News reported: ‘Sporting tufts of spiky white hair and resembling a geriatric punk rocker, a newly discovered species of longhorn beetle is an Australian first that was nearly disregarded as bird poo.’

Australian Geographic reported James saying: “Best estimates suggest there may be 5.5 million insect species worldwide and only one-fifth of these have been named and described … Insects are the most diverse group of animals on the planet, but they are also the most underappreciated and understudied.”

Binna Burra Lodge Chair, Steve Noakes said the site had been home to many scientific endeavours. He said: “Binna Burra Lodge is delighted to continue its support of a wide variety of fascinating scientific projects, and this discovery of a new genus of beetle is another in a long line of amazing discoveries on the site.”

Sources and Media coverage:

The Australian Journal of Taxonomy research paper can be downloaded (open access) here.

UQ Press Release


ABC News

Australian Geographic

Brisbane Times

BBC News

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