A team of London-based explorers discovered a new species of butterfly in the northern reaches of the Andes mountain range in South America.
The team of explorers and scientists with London's Natural History Museum discovered the coffee-colored insect, named Idioneurula donegani, during the first manned exploration to the peaks of the Serrania de los Yariguies mountain range in Columbia, The Independent reported Thursday.
Blanca Huerta, butterfly curator at the museum, said the finding was "an amazing discovery."
"Discovery of unseen species of insect are more common than with many
other types of animal," she said. "But for any biologist it's exhilarating to find an entirely new species -- especially one that survives in environments where you wouldn't expect to find them."
Scientists thought the high-altitude mountain range would not support butterfly habitats.
Forty percent of the 20,000 known species of butterfly originate from South America.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
Explore further: Sea star disease strikes peninsula marine centers