Rare Headless Ladybug Discovered Just In Time For Halloween
A newly discovered species of ladybug has been discovered just in time for Halloween. The rare "Headless Ladybug" represents not only a new species of ladybug, but an entire new classification of animals as well.
The rare headless ladybug isn't actually headless - but it certainly appears that way. It can tuck its head into its throat, giving itself the appearance of being the bug-equivalent of the headless horseman.
Ross Winston, a researcher from Montana State University, captured the rare headless ladybug in 2009 as a graduate student. He initially thought he found a part of an ant, but then discovered it's actually a ladybug.
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Winston sent his finding to Australia, where a group of researchers working on insect studied it, and formally named it a new species in a recent issue of the journal Systemic Entomology.
Only two specimens of the rare headless ladybug are known to exist - one from Montana and one from Idaho, making it the most elusive species in the country.
"It's a whole new kind of ladybug. Whatever this does, it is very specialized. It's quite the exciting little beast," Michael Ivie, an entomologist from Montana State University who helped study the bug, told Reuters.
Why the headless ladybug tucks its head away is unknown, but researchers said they will conduct further studies in an attempt to find out.
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