Extinct Cockroach Bears Uncanny Resemblance to Jawa

24 May

by Erik Franco / Motherboard


Arizona State University scientists recently released their annual list of 10 recently discovered species, and among the otherworldly-looking group is a luminescent cockroach whose otherworldliness is less hyperbole and actually quite specific. The glowing roach is a spitting image of a Jawa. 

But in the time since the species was discovered and its existence formally published, the Tatooine look-alike may have actually become extinct. In 2010 after a volcano in Ecuador erupted, which served as lucihormetica luckae’s only known habitat, the weird roaches haven’t been spotted. 

“Nearly as soon as this species became known to science, it may have been extinguished by the eruption of the Tungurahua Volcano, where it lived,” Mongabay reported late last year. And although the paper documenting their discovery was only published last July, “no specimens have been found since the eruption in 2010.”

So in addition to exhibiting an uncanny resemblance to George Lucas’s fictional creatures, the roaches too, like Jawas, don’t exist. Despite a likely extinction, ASU’s International Institute for Species Exploration included lucihormetica luckae on its list anyway. 

Here’s a composite of the rest of the species that round out the list:


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