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Times 1 Sep 07
Native species: Brachygonia oculata
Robin Ngiam, Project Officer, Biodiversity Centre, NParks.
Scientists estimate that millions of plant and animal species remain unknown, especially those in this region. A vast number are constantly being discovered. The National Parks Board and the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research reveal what they have uncovered here.
WHAT makes the redisovery of the Brachygonia Oculata dragonfly in the western part of Singapore particularly exciting is that prior to it, even the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research did not have an existing specimen of the species.
In fact, all that was known about the insect's existence was that back in 1855, famed English naturalist Sir Alfred Russel Wallace collected specimens here.
Singapore is now home to 111 species of dragonflies and damselflies. But the rarer species are under threat.
As natural streams and marshlands are lost to the building of canals and land reclamation, they face pressure from habitat destruction and have to seek refuge in the few scattered natural water bodies left.
Dragonflies do play a vital ecological role - both adults and larvae prey extensively on the adults and larvae of mosquitoes, so they keep the mosquito population - including the dengue-causing Aedes aegypti - under control.
Native species: Sealingwax palm Straits Times 18 Aug 07
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