The Mediterranean ecosystems have a great potential for new discoveries. This is evidenced by the four new species of animals that have been described during the last three years in different points of the Iberian Peninsula. A butterfly in Sierra Nevada, a lobster in Barcelona, a spider in the Iberian meadows and a fish in the Balearic Islands are the greatest exponents of the unknown diversity of the Mediterranean ecosystems.
The cryptic butterfly of Sierra Nevada
Just a year ago, scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE, CSIC-UPF) described a new species of butterfly that can only be found in the Iberian Peninsula: Spialia rosae. Until that date, it had been confused with another species of butterfly, Spialia sertorius, because they are cryptic or sibling species, what means that they are very similar. So similar that they can’t be differentiated even if you observe them with a high resolution microscope.