Some native insects have lost their wings in New Zealand

Some native insects have lost their wings in New Zealand

Recent research has shown that over the past 750 years, humans have changed the landscape of the country’s South Island to such an extent that it has already had a significant impact on the ecosystem.

With the disappearance of New Zealand’s alpine forests that have so far shattered the mighty hilltop, many insect species have begun a strange evolutionary change: their wings have disappeared or diminished. the Zelandoperla fenestrate For example, the so-called false beggar today has two different styles: one is winged and able to fly; While to another already

Its wings have dwindled, but it has already begun to disappear and the flag has announced that it cannot fly.

This insect can usually be found at higher altitudes where there is little wood and strong winds, which can easily cause the flying insect to fall into the depths. Meanwhile, companions suitable for flying in mountain forests are usually sheltered from the elements.

a Biology Letters According to a study published in a scientific journal, in areas where forests have been cut down, researchers have noticed something interesting. Insects are no longer able to do this at this altitude, as they usually have to fly.

A false beggar named Zylanoperla finistrata now has wings of only one subspeciesSource: Lewis Cahill Photography

As the experts noted, “Man-made deforestation indirectly deprived these insects of their ability to fly, and this happened in a very short period of time from an evolutionary point of view.”To date, more than 40 percent of the original forest covering the South Island of New Zealand is shrubs and ferns. Scientists say the false beggar, now flightless, may be just the tip of the iceberg.
In addition to the local events inferred here, it is likely that widespread deforestation may have increased the proportion of offspring banned from flying in large areas of southern New Zealand. The authors write in the study that a ScienceAlert Online science portal citations. We fear that without wings, insects will not be able to find partners in a larger area to increase genetic diversity.

They added that this could affect the long-term health of the species as well as increase the risk of insect extinction.

However, the authors also acknowledge that factors other than wind likely make insect flight “unpleasant” on an open mountaintop, such as deteriorating habitat stability and temperature changes.

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