A college student discovers a new species of firefly near Topanga, California and along with it, he finds his true vocation.
For most of us, it is rather difficult to choose a career, because revelations and divine signs don’t happen all that often. However, for a college student in California, it became very clear what his vocation was, as he discovered a entirely new species of firefly while collecting specimens for his project.
His name is Joshua Oliva and he has recently graduated from University of California, Riverside. But a month before his graduation, something amazing happened to him. As he was looking for insect specimens for his project near Topanga, he noticed an insect that did not resemble what he had seen in his books.
He could not decide whether or not the mysterious critter was a firefly or not, and so he went to seek help from the entomology specialists from the Entomology Research Museum.
He showed the small insect to Doug Yanega, a senior researcher at the museum, who immediately realized that the Joshua was on to something. Given his many years of experience, Mr. Yanega did not require too much time to recognize Joshua’s insect as nothing he had ever seen before, as an insect that did not display the characteristics of any known firefly species.
And when Mr. Yanega told Joshua that he had discovered an entirely new species, he said he had never seen a happier student. However, the progresses in entomology take time and Mr. Yanega had to explain to Joshua that his specimen will remain in the museum collection of fireflies, but that it would take quite a few more specimens for the species to be recognized officially.
One one hand, it must be a little bit desolating for an entomologist to know that there are hundreds of unidentified species in his collection that await further research. But on the other hand, every time that new forces come along, there is an insect database that can help them identify their discoveries. And that should be an encouraging thought.
Furthermore, since the insect universe is so vast, there are hundreds and hundreds of new species discovered every single year by entomology specialists. So the universe keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Joshua’s firefly was approximately 0,5 cm long, it had a black body and a orange pattern on its pronotum, which is a shielding portion that defends the insect’s head, and its tail ended with a tiny luminescent organ.
The specimen will remain at the Entomology Research Museum, and when new specimens are found, they will be thoroughly studied and then cross-studied against all the other existing species. Only after extensive research that must include genetic testing is completed can the specimens be recognized as a stand alone species.
This being the case, it is very good that Joshua Oliva is planning to continue his studies at the University of California, Riverside in the field of entomology. And you cannot help feeling happy that he is following his true vocation. He says that he has been absolutely fascinated by insects ever since he was a little boy.
“My discovery shows me that the field of entomology has a lot of opportunities for hardworking students”, says Joshua Oliva.
And surely this achievement will greatly contribute in Joshua’s admittance process, since it shows his true passion and talent for the field of entomology. We expect Joshua Oliva to make significant contributions to the field of entomology in the following years.
Image Source: phys.org