A new kind of grasshopper was discovered in Catalonia in the northeast Spain Named in honor of two local wildlife caretakers killed by hunters in 2017.
This insect belongs to the order Orthoptera and includes crickets, grasshoppers and locusts, and has been named Green belly tick After Xavier Ribes Villas and David Iglesias Díez, they were shot dead while working in the Segrià region of Catalonia.
The insect was found in Anoia, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Barcelona, and has a habitat of only about 1,000 square meters (1,195 square yards).
Josep María Olmo, a Catalan government biologist who has been looking for new species for many years, described it as a region of unique biodiversity.
“We named it ribesiglesiasii to recognize the great work done by wildlife rangers in protecting biodiversity,” Olmo said. “In fact, it was a wildlife agent who helped us discover it. Its more popular name is somereta de Davier, which refers to their names, David and Xavier.”
Ribes and Iglesias encountered a group of men shooting thrushes while patrolling near the village of Aspa in the province of Lleida, Catalonia. One of the men, Ismael Rodríguez, shot the agent with his unlicensed shotgun, then reloaded and fired a second time.
Rodriguez waited for nearly an hour before dialing the emergency service number. When he finally did this, he told the operator: “They’re here, I’m very nervous, I don’t know why I reacted like this.”
In February 2019, Rodriguez was convicted of premeditated murder and Sentenced to 45 years in prisonHe was also ordered to pay more than 1 million euros to the families of the victims.
The killings led to the requirement that 6,000 wildlife rangers in Spain be armed with weapons.
Llorenç Ricou, head of the Lleida Wildlife Ranger, told the Guardian that the family, friends and colleagues of Ribes and Iglesias were deeply moved by the move.
“This insect was discovered by wildlife rangers, one of whom had trained with David Iglesias,” Ricku said. “When it was discovered that this was a species that had never been discovered, people realized that it needed a name. Wildlife rangers asked to be named after their two murdered colleagues. They did a lot of work to protect nature.
“Animals usually end up being named after scientists, but in this case, it was named after two rangers. Many people think it’s not a big deal, but for those of us who are committed to protecting the natural world , This is a cute and iconic behavior.”