British Ambassador Mrs Kirsty Hayes, flanked by the RBL’s Phillip Ladbroke and Chelsea Pensioner Gordon Sanders..jpg

Ancient insect species discovered

An ancient species of insect that has lived for millions of years in caves in the Algarve has been discovered by a Portuguese biologist during her research work.

Biologist Sofia Reboleira (pictured) said: “This discovery adds a new category to the Portuguese cave fauna, as there were no diplura insects known to live in the caves in Portugal.” The insect, which has been named Litocampa mendesi and is 3mm long, belongs to a group of insects called apterous (without wings) which, says Sofia Reboleira, are eyeless and live on the ground or in cavities.

The diplura brings to five the number she has now discovered, the others being three cave beetles and a pseudoscorpion, during her fieldwork in the caves of Serra de Aire e Candeeiros, do Algarve and Montejunto.