NU State Museum team finds one of 2007's top new species

Released on 06/17/2008, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., June 17th, 2008 —
M. briansaltini and Dim
M. briansaltini and Dim

Brett Ratcliffe and his team of entomologists at the University of Nebraska State Museum not only find new species of scarab beetle moving into Nebraska, they are also adept at discovering totally new species, especially in the American tropics.

One of their recent discoveries in Peru, the rhinoceros beetle Megaceras briansaltini, was named one of the top 10 new species for 2007 by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University. Rhinoceros beetles are named for the horn-like structures on their heads, and M. briansaltini's is unique. According to Ratcliffe and his colleague, Mary Liz Jameson, it most closely resembles that of Dim, the blue rhinoceros beetle in the Disney/Pixar animated film, "A Bug's Life."

"It's a rare instance of nature imitating art," reported the institute's Web site (

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