Find new parasites while surfing Twitter

This is the first time a creature has been discovered on Twitter.

Biologist Ana Sofia Reboleira from the Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen (Denmark) discovered a new parasite while using Twitter. The research report was published in the journal MycoKeys on May 14.

While using Twitter, Reboleira saw a photo of an American millipede , an arthropod group posted by Derek Hennen, who is studying for a PhD at Virginia Polytechnic University. He has a Twitter account just to post photos of animals with legs.

Picture 1 of Find new parasites while surfing Twitter
Hennen's multi-legged animal image contains details of an undiscovered parasite (red circle). (Photo: Derek Hennen).

The multi-legged animal that Reboleira found was quite special, so it was carefully observed and analyzed.

"I saw this mushroom-like thing on the body of this millipede. It was never found in millipede species in the US," Reboleira said.

This picture of the millipede, first published by Hennen in 2018, is a promise after the midterm election in the US. Hennen also re-shared the process of discovering new species of mushrooms on Twitter on May 15.

Reboleira explored this strange mushroom by searching for specimens related to American millipede species kept in the Natural History Museum.

"This confirms the existence of an unknown Laboulbeniales fungus - a small, bizarre and mysterious parasite that attacks insects and arthropods , " the report said.

The new mushroom is named Troglomyces twitteri, of the Laboulbeniales species. It will pierce the host body and then enter, only revealing half of the body. Scientists are still studying the fungus and its relationship with the host.

"This is the first time a new species has been discovered thanks to Twitter. It shows the importance of social platforms in sharing research to achieve new achievements," Reboleira said.

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