I know that nature can never be entirely mapped. And I knew that there are plants and animals unknown to humanity in the vastness of the world’s jungles, but in Sweden..?
Yes, in Sweden. There are still insects that are new to Sweden, or even to the world. And loads of them.
Within the Swedish Malaise trap project, run by the Swedish Museum of Natural History, 2003 and 2006, insects were gathered with Malaise traps in 75 different locations around Sweden. About 40 million (!!) insects were collected, and now scientists all over the world are working hard to sort them and find out what species every single one of them belong to. This is a job that will take many years, but already two years ago 1000 species that weren’t before recorded in Sweden have been found. About half of these are also unknown by international science.
The aim of this project is to create an unique scientific resource for future research on entomology (insects). In a recent interview in Dagens Nyheter (article in Swedish), Kajsa Glemhorn who leads the project, says she hopes for 5.000 insect species new to Sweden to be “discovered”.
This must be a fantastic opportunity for entomologists to make their own mark in history. Kajsa Glemhorn has for example given the name to a species until now unknown to humanity – the Platygaster Glemhornae!