How many new species of animals and plants found in Yunnan in 2021?


Some new species were found in Yunnan in 2021.

New species are discovered and named for the first time in scientific work and have not been recognized or published by science. The finding of new species not only can promote our understanding of biodiversity but also has a significant meaning in biodiversity protection.

Yunnan has several reputations of “the kingdom of plants,” “the kingdom of animals,” and “species gene pool,” which is a key venue to find new species. With the COP15 conference held in Kunming, these newly discovered species in Yunnan attracted much more attention than ever before, and some of them had even become celebrities. Now let’s take an inventory of new species that received widespread media coverage and netizens’ concern. Some of them are fairy-like, while others are cute. These creatures show the beauty of biodiversity in Yunnan and the efforts researchers have made to protect biodiversity.


The most fairy-like species in these creatures is Globba ruiliensis, which belongs to Globba. It was found in Yunnan’s Tongbiguan Provincial Natural Reserve. Netizens compliment it as a flower fairy dancing in the rainforest because of its fantastic appearance. 


“Primula longistyla” is a new species of “Primula L.” found in Cangyuan County, Lincang City, Yunnan Province. With a graceful appearance and elegant temperament, it is one of the most beautiful creatures among these newly found species this year.


“Yingjiang Stixis suaveolens (Roxb.) Pierre” is a new species of “Stixis Lour” found in Yunnan’s Tongbiguan Provincial Natural Reserve. “Yingjiang Stixis suaveolens (Roxb.) Pierre” is a liane plant that climbs on other trees. Although it is not appealing enough, it is also good-looking.


“Camellia luteocalpandria S.X.Yang & E.D. Liu,” a new species of “Sect. Calpandria”, “Camellia L.”, which was found in Maliipo County, Wenshan Zhuang, and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. “Camellia luteocalpandria S.X.Yang & E.D. Liu” blooms with tiny yellow flowers. It is not only of good appearance, but also the first newly found plant of “Sect. Calpandria”, “Camellia L.” in China. The finding has a significant meaning in plant systematics and plant geography.


Compared with those beautiful species, “Jinghong Aspidistra elatior Blume” has a unique appearance and is something of a misnomer (Its Chinese name means a spider holding an egg). When you hear the name “a spider holding an egg,” you may think it is an animal and has some relationship with spiders. But actually, “Jinghong Aspidistra elatior Blume” is a plant, a new species that belong to “Aspidistra Ker Gawl.” They bloom near the ground, so you would not find their flowers if you didn’t take a close look.


“Angiopteris sugongii Gui L. Zhang, J.Y. Xiang & Ting Wang” is a new species of “Angiopteris,” found in Yunnan’s Daweishan National Natural Reserve. It seems like a “new face”, but Angiopteris is a plant with a long history and one of the oldest extant ferns. Researchers named it “sugong” to commemorate the important contribution from the late botanist Wu Sugong who worked at Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences before. Photos show a young leaf of “Angiopteris sugongii Gui L. Zhang, J.Y. Xiang & Ting Wang.”

As “the kingdom of wild mushroom,” some new fungus species are found in Yunnan this year. They are “Tubersonglu” and “Tuberqujingense” that belongs to “Tuberaceae,” “Pezizales.” People in Southwest China often call it “Zhu Gong Jun,” while businessmen call it “Songlu.” Foodies may concern about whether these two species are edible. According to researchers, Tubersonglu and Tuberqujingense are edible and have some economic value. 


The photo on the left shows Tubersonglu, photo on the right shows Tuberqujingense.


“Eupetaurus nivamons” is a new species of “Eupetaurus,” found in Gongshan County, Nujiang of the Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. Netizens call it “flying fox in snow mountain” because Eupetaurus nivamons are nocturnal animals that can glide between trees and cliffs. Their habitats have been covered by snow for over half a year.


“Panorpa nanzhao Wang” is a new species of “Panorpidae,” found in Dali’s Cangshan mountain. Scorpionflies usually live in forests at high altitudes. They are highly dependant on the primary environment. Once the primary environment is destroyed, they would easily end up in partial extinction. 


Yunnan has the richest biodiversity throughout the nation. That’s why you can see fireflies in many places here. Researchers have found 3 new fireflies species this year, which are “Lamprigera alticola,” “Lamprigera Luquanensis” and “Lamprigera magnapronotum.” It is learned that Lamprigera only distributes around the Himalayas and in Southeast Asian countries in China. Male imagoes can constantly emit pale green light, and female ones can constantly emit dark green light.


“Odorrana dulongensis” is a new species of “Amphibia” found in Dulongjiang Village, Gongshan County, Yunnan Province. 

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(Editors: Lexi, Ines)

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