Environment & Science

A new firefly discovered by Southern California student

The firefly discovered by UC Riverside student Joshua Oliva.
The firefly discovered by UC Riverside student Joshua Oliva.
UC Riverside
The firefly discovered by UC Riverside student Joshua Oliva.
UC Riverside student Joshua Oliva, who discovered a new kind of firefly.
UC Riverside


A University of California, Riverside student has discovered a new species of firefly while out on a hike. Yes, we have fireflies.
 
Joshua Oliva was collecting insects for a class assignment in Topanga Canyon when he found the undiscovered bug. He did not know it was new when he caught it, but saw it was special once he examined it.
 
"The thing that stands out the most is this pronotum which is orange, which contrasts with the black of the body. It's a pronounced contrast. And it covers the head and is orange, almost like a halo-like structure. I thought it was a quite an interesting looking insect, to be honest," Oliva told KPCC's "Take Two."
 
He and his mom were out on a Mother's Day hike when he found it, so Oliva hopes to name the firefly after her.

"I know the local fauna well enough that within minutes I was able to tell him he had found something entirely new to science," UC Riverside entomology museum scientist Doug Yanega said in a news release. "I don’t think I’ve seen a happier student in my life."

The firefly is still being examined.