During our Myanmar expedition, the forest of Tamanthi provided many rich pickings and a number of the specimens I collected there are turning out to be undescribed.
One day, near the end of our stay there, I was rooting around the stump of a felled tree near our camp and I found a small, burrowing beetle. It was a little less than 1 cm long and it had the distinctive body shape of the Scaritinae – a group of carabids, many of which spend some if not all of their life underground. The individual I’d found had extremely reduced eyes and very long mandibles.
On our return to the UK this specimen and all the other beetles I collected were deposited in the Natural History Museum in London. This specimen was recently described as a new species, Oxygnathus ferrugineus, by Petr Bulirsch. As these beetles spend so much time underground their diversity and biology is very poorly known. In the tropics there are a huge number of species to discover.
The forests of northern Burma are among the most unexplored areas on the planet and it’s imperative that more surveys are done there to uncover their biological riches.
The description of this new species is here