Written by Nancy Miorelli
The short answer is “No.”
The long answer is “No.” but with with a bit more explanation. The first is that I’m a communicator, an ecologist, and don’t have a lot of the proper equipment.
Have I seen a new species to science? I have absolutely no doubt. Did I know it was a new species when I saw it? No, probably not. There’s just so much diversity here it hasn’t even been quantified.
For example. There’s about ~20,000 species of butterflies in the world. Ecuador has close to 4,000 butterfly species. Maqui, the reserve that I’m in, has close to 200 butterfly species. So our one little 6,000 hectare (15,000 acre) reserve has 0.5% of the butterfly species of Ecuador! And that’s just butterflies – a big charismatic group that has a lot of identification work in it. Beetles, moths, and little wasps on the other hand are a whole nother animal(s). There’s a lot more of them, an there’s a lot more little ones, and a lot more that live in tropical areas that are hard to get to.