New discovery: Grasshopper species not recorded for more than a century found in Mt. Hamiguitan

A species of pygmy grasshopper commonly known as the four-spined pygmy devil have been discovered by researchers in Mt. Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental.

Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildelife Sanctuary (Photo courtesy of IUCN Naomi Doak via the UNESCO website)

Arulenus validispinus, according to Dr. Victor B. Amoroso, leader of the Central Mindanao University (CMU) research team, has not been recorded for more than a century.

This discovery was brought about by the study, “Biodiversity in selected mountain ecosystems of Mindanao for conservation and sustainable development”. The study also led to the discovery of other new species of flora and fauna in Mt. Hamiguitan.

Among those discovered were species of flowering plants such as Hypericum perryongii Galindon, sp. Nov and Gymnosiphon syceorosensis (Burmaniaceae). For fauna, apart from the pygmy grasshopper, a type of snout beetle, Metapocyrtus (Artapocyrtus) brons sp. Nov, was also recorded.

These findings are part of the Biodiversity Science and Technology Program funded and monitored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

Mt. Hamiguitan is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. Prior to this, it has already been declared as an ASEAN Heritage Park. The mountain range showcases terrestrial and aquatic habitats, and includes threatened and endemic flora and fauna species.

Aside from Mt. Hamiguitan, Mt. Apo in North Cotabato, and Mt. Pantaron and Mt. Tago, both in Bukidnon, were included in the study also conducted by the University of the Philippines Los Baños-Museum of Natural History, Davao Oriental State University, and the Philippine National Museum.