New Beetle Species Discovered in Arizona Cave

A scientist in Arizona has been credited with discovering a new species of beetle that is only found in caves.

Jut Wynne, a researcher at Northern Arizona University, was credited with the discovery which found the beetles in caves near the Grand Canyon.

Wynne explained that the beetles have been named Eleodes Wynnei after assistants decided to add Wynne's name, given that he was the person who discovered the beetles, according to KTAR.

"It is humbling, and I am very proud that my family's name is being honored in this way," Wynne said.

It seems as if Wynne has a knack for finding new species. Since 2005, Wynne has discovered more than 20 new species of cave-dwelling arthropods in caves around the Grand Canyon region and he and his colleagues have identified three new genera, according to a statement released by Northern Arizona University, as reported by NBC.

"We've been studying several of these caves for extended periods of time," said Wynne. "Sometimes it's easy. You walk in and you find a cave-adaptive animal and you discover that it's a new species … Other times, it takes a lot of time where you have to collect specimens over time."

Many of the new species have been found in the same region as the beetle including identifying five new species from Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island and four new species at El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico.

"They are characterized by being eyeless … They lack pigmentation, and they generally have elongated legs and antenna," Wynne told KTAR.

The new beetle species is only found in northwestern Arizona and southwestern Utah. Wynne stated that while he is honored having the species named after him, he is more focused on conducting good science and advocating for the conservation of caves.

Wynne and his colleagues are trying to have the caves where the new species were found designated as restricted areas to ensure their habitat can be preserved.