Scientists plan to bring extinct species of insects in their natural habitat.
In Australia, scientists have confirmed the existence of the insect, which is thought to be extinct since 1920-ies. Called Dryococelus australis.
In 1918, a shipwreck off the coast of Lord Howe island it got a black rat, who settled on the island and led to the disappearance of unique species of birds, plants and invertebrates, including D. australis.
In the 1960-ies the researchers found on the neighboring island a few dead insects. Because live insects were not found, and the corpses had some morphological differences from D. australis, the species was still considered to be extinct.
In 2001 on balls Pyramid, the scientists found several dozen individuals – a colony of insects is similar to D. australis. They were all females and reproduce by parthenogenesis. The researchers used a colony was found in the program of artificial reproduction.
Scientists were not sure that the found insects do D. Australis. They also differed from the previously known representatives of the species.
However, held in 2017, the DNA analysis has dispelled last doubts: despite superficial differences, the divergence of the genome of modern and old samples was less than 1%.
In 2018 on the island of Lord Howe island there will be a program for the destruction of rats. After that, researchers will be able to return D. Australis in their natural habitat.