When you hear the name fairyfly, you probably expect something beautiful and delicate. But other than its fairyland-like habitat in Costa Rica (above), the new fairyfly species Tinkerbella nana doesn’t seem to have much to do with fairies. Here are the images provided by the scientists as they announced their new discovery in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research:
I don’t know what version of Peter Pan the researchers — from Natural Resources Canada and London’s Natural History Museum — have been watching or reading, but I never envisioned Tinkerbell quite like this.
Fairyflies are some of the world’s smallest insects, and all of the T. nana individuals were smaller than 250 μm in length. It’s pretty amazing that anyone finds them at all, let alone a new species in a dense Costa Rican forest.
Images courtesy of John T. Huber