Jan 28
The newly discovered Brookesia micra chameleon is the smallest lizard to ever be described, with the juvenile being small enough to perch on the tip of a matchstick!
This is just one example of a species featured in ARKive’s newly-discovered topic page. Explore the page to find out about other recently described species, how these species were found and why discovering new species is so important.
Brookesia micra photo

Juvenile Brookesia micra perched on a matchstick

A newly discovered species may be a species that is completely new to science, or one which has previously been described but is found to be made up of two or more separate species. With estimates that there could be between 3 million and 100 million organisms existing on Earth, and only around 1.7 million having been classified, the vast majority of life on Earth has not yet been uncovered.

Wattled smoky honeyeater photo

The wattled smoky honeyeater, discovered in 2005, was the first bird to be discovered in New Guinea since 1939

Discovering new species is very important, especially as many undiscovered species could become extinct before they are even identified. Describing and naming species is the first step towards protecting a species, as conservation strategies can then be put in to place.

The recently discovered kipunji is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List

Many of the recently discovered species featured on ARKive have some very unusual names; the psychedelic frogfish, the David Bowie spider, the Louisiana pancake batfish and Mr Burns beaked toad. Check out the profiles of these unusually named species to find out more about them and the reasons behind their quirky names.

The strangely patterned psychedelic frogfish

Why not take a look at our newly-discovered species page today and discover some new species for yourself!

Jemma Pealing, ARKive Media Researcher

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