A strikingly beautiful blue damselfly (a close relative of thedragonfly) named Hylaeargia lisae is the first newspecies to be scientifically described from the WCS Hindenburg Wallbiodiversity expedition of 2013 (follow this link for more on the Hindenburg Wall). TheWCS expedition took place at an area known as the Hindenburg Wall which is aseries of limestone escarpements and plateaus running some 50 km within theStar Mountains of Papua New Guinea’s Western Province.
The epic grandeur of these near vertical, oftentwo kilometer high bluffs has lead the area beingproposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The particular damselfly in questionwas found alighting on some vegetation beside a small clear flowing stream atthe base of one such escarpment and was subsequently described by theexpedition’s lead scientist Steve Richards. The damselfly is but one of 89 new and undescribed species ofplants and animals uncovered by the WCS team over a three week period.
The WCS project coordinator for theexpedition, Nathan Whitmore, was jubilant describing that “Such finds aretestimony to the exceptional biodiversity values of the area”. The scientificdescription and naming of the other newly uncovered species is ongoing. InJanuary 2014 a further three new species of damselfly from the expedition weredescribed by Steve Richards. The formal discovery of the first damselfly wasreported in the Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund in December 2013 and can befound here.