Did you know only 25% of Australia’s flora and fauna species are known to science? Crazy, right? Well the national science agency, CSIRO, has put a small dent in the remaining unknown, with 139 new species described and officially named in the last year.


The species include 4 marine fish, 3 plants, 1 frog, 117 insects, and 14 other invertebrates, including 11 types of jumping spiders. 

‘Working together with our research community to name species is incredibly important – it’s the first step in Australia understanding and managing its biodiversity,’ said CSIRO Entomologist, Dr David Yeates.

‘As a country, we are still in the very exciting phase of species discovery,’ he said.

The new species have been discovered all around the country, from a treehopper found near Canberra and named Wallaciana namadgi after nearby Namadgi National Park, to the Silverspot Weedfish found in up to 100-metre deep water in south-western Australia, and even two weevils found in lava caves in north-east Queensland.


Bayliss Cave, QLD


Perhaps the rarest of the bunch is the stunning Bulloak Jewel butterfly (Hypochrysops piceatus) which coexists alongside a new species of ant (Allocasuarina luehmannii). 

‘The butterfly caterpillars live under bark and are carried to soft bulloak leaves to feed at night by ‘babysitter’ ants. The ants protect the caterpillars from predators and receive a sugary gift from the caterpillars, a win-win for both species,’ Dr Yeates said.

There’s also been the naming of the first true millipede, Eumillipes persephone, which has 1306 legs, and is the first millipede discovered with more than 750 legs.

Damn nature, you scary!


Feature photo is of a Bulloak Jewel butterfly by Michael Braby