Washington: A global committee of taxonomists - scientists responsible for species exploration and classification - has announced a list of top 10 new species discovered in 2012.
An amazing glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge and the smallest vertebrate on Earth are just three of the newly discovered top 10 species selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University.
The announcement, now in its sixth year, coincides with the anniversary of the birth of Carolus Linnaeus - the 18th century Swedish botanist responsible for the modern system of scientific names and classifications.
Also slithering it way onto this year`s top 10 is a snail-eating false coral snake, as well as flowering bushes from a disappearing forest in Madagascar, a green lacewing that was discovered through social media and hangingflies that perfectly mimicked ginkgo tree leaves 165 million years ago.
Rounding out the list is a new monkey with a blue-colored behind and human-like eyes, a tiny violet and a black staining fungus that threatens rare Paleolithic cave paintings in France.
"We have identified only about two million of an estimated 10 to 12 million living species and that does not count most of the microbial world," said Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration at ASU and author of "What on Earth? 100 of our Planet`s Most Amazing New Species" (NY, Plume, 2013).
This year`s top 10 come from Peru; NE Pacific Ocean, USA: California; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Panama; France; New Guinea; Madagascar; Ecuador; Malaysia; and China.
Arizona State University`s International Institute for Species Exploration announces the top 10 new species list each year as part of its public awareness campaign to bring attention to biodiversity and the field of taxonomy.