New creatures found in the Caribbean island belong to the group of small moths, whose wings look like bird feathers.
Four new moth species discovered in Bahamas.(Photo: Phys).
Scientists have identified four new species of feathered moths in the Bahamas, bringing the total number of moth species living on the Caribbean island to 23. The tiny creatures discovered by biologists Deborah Matthews from the Florida Museum of Natural History after many expeditions and fieldwork.
The name of the feather moth (Pterophoridae) is placed according to the unique wing shape of the species. With so many thin hairs covering the contours, their wings look like bird feathers. Pterophoridae is very small in size. Four new species include: Michaelophorus salensis, Oidaematophorus androsensis, Hellinsia bahamensis and Hellinsia lucayana with wingspan length equivalent to a mosquito.
Hellinsia lucayana, one of four newly discovered moths.(Photo: Phys).
"They are unique! Feather moths are part of the food chain and contribute to biodiversity in the Bahamas. We need to explore to know what is on the islands before they disappear , " Matthews said.
Matthews' discovery is part of an effort to record the full diversity of butterflies and moths in the Bahamas. Scientists, led by Florida Museum curator Jacqueline Miller, began searches in 2010 with about 300 species on the list. Today, at least 1,000 butterflies and moths are known on the islands.