Japan Team Discovers New Stink Bug in Ogasawara Islands

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, March 17 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese research team has discovered a new stink bug species in the Ogasawara Islands, part of Tokyo and a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site.

Named Nesoproxius kishimotoi, the new species in the flat bug genus is about 3 millimeters long and neither flies nor emits the odor peculiar to stink bugs, the team said. Its Japanese name is Ogasawara shiro hiratakamemushi. The findings from the research have been published online by international academic journal ZooKeys.

Researchers of the team, including Shusuke Shimamoto, a graduate school student at Tokyo University of Agriculture, discovered unknown stink bugs on Chichijima and Ototojima, both islands in the Ogasawara chain, in the course of field research in 2021-2022. The team found that the bugs are a new flat bug species, after microscopic observation showed they had characteristics such as short wings.

It is possible that the new bugs' wings degenerated because they could be blown over to the ocean if they fly, according to the team. Stink bugs are known to emit odor to protect themselves, but the new species did not smell, the team said.

"The discovery of the endemic species boosts the value of the Ogasawara Islands as a Natural World Heritage site," Shimamoto said. He stressed the need to take measures to prevent inflows of alien species for the protection of such inherent species.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press