He does not have a very famous name but he does try to send an important message: Potamophylax coronavirus is a new type of insect identified last year in Kosovo and that has just been baptized like this to raise awareness about water pollution and its effects on biodiversity.
“We wanted to draw attention and focus on the other ‘pandemic’ that occurs in freshwater ecosystems in Kosovo and the Balkans due to pollution and mismanagement of hydroelectric power plants”, The head of the investigation, Halil Ibrahimi, of the Department of Biology of the University of Pristina, tells Efe
This new species of aquatic insect of the family of the tricopteros It lives in the Bjeshkët e Nemuna National Park in Kosovo.
“At the moment the area is not at risk, but there are a series of activities that could put some species in danger of extinction in the near future”, Ibrahimi warns, defining the extraction of water from springs or the contamination of the river as part of that“ silent pandemic ”.
With this peculiar name, the group of researchers intends to “close the gap between society and science” and communicate your concerns to the media and institutions with the power to take action on the matter.
The “Potamophylax coronavirus”, like the rest of the tropics, fulfills “essential roles” for the preservation of freshwater ecosystems, ranging from biological monitoring of water quality to serving as food for fish and other predators.
“The ‘Potamophylax coronavirus’ and other species of aquatic insects are very susceptible to these harmful activities and, in a way, they are the first barrier of the ecosystem before these anthropogenic activities also directly impact on humans as well,” warns Ibrahimi.
Thanks to this denomination, which flees from “boring Latin terms”, Ibrahimi feels that he has fulfilled his goal: to make the Potamophylax coronavirus the “most famous species of aquatic insect in history”.