New snow-loving beetle discovered

Left over from the ice age.

A new species of beetle has been discovered living at a height of 2,000 metres on the northern slopes of the Swiss Alps.

This content was published on September 29, 2011 - 19:54 and agencies

Scientists from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences say the beetle, trechus schyberosiae, lives nowhere else in the world apart from a small region between the peaks of Mount Pilatus and Hohgant in central Switzerland.

The beetle is highly tolerant to cold. Its rocky habitat on the northern slopes of the Alpine foothills often remains snow-covered even in summer.

Such areas are inaccessible, and remain largely unexplored, the researchers say. They believe the insect is a remnant of the mountain fauna of the ice age.

Of the 6,500 species of beetle found in Switzerland, only about 20 are truly endemic, meaning that they are not found anywhere else.

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