Two entomologists from Singapore and the Philippines have discovered a new species of cockroach. The team, who turned out to be Pokemon fans, named their discovery after Pheromosa, a bug-fighting Ultra Beast from Pokemon Sun and Moon.
The Nocticola pheromosa is a new species of cockroach that was discovered in Singapore back in 2016 by a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Museum of Natural History.
The team decided to name it Pheromosa because of its slender body shape, long legs and antennae, and pale coloration that resembles the Pokemon. It belongs to the Nocticolidae family, which has 32 known species to date.
According to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, “This delicate cockroach is the first record for Singapore, and it falls under the family Nocticolidae which has only 32 species known to date. It was caught during an insect survey in 2016 at a nature reserve to uncover the diversity of insects in Singapore. While its exterior resembled that of a known species, it was through dissection that it was actually found to be a species new to science.”
The discovery of this new species is significant because it adds to the biodiversity of Singapore and Southeast Asia, where many Nocticolids are endemic.
The team hopes that their finding will help people see cockroaches in a new light and appreciate their diversity and ecological roles. They also plan to continue their research on other Nocticolids in the region.