8 animals discovered in 2021 so far

Originally Published: 
D. Booher, et al. ZOOKEYS (2021)


Earth is a planet teeming with life, and scientists are still working to catalog new species.


It may seem hard to believe, but a 2011 study suggests as much 86 percent of land species and 91 percent of marine species are still undiscovered.

Here are 8 new species discovered so far in 2021.

8. Strumigenys ayersthey

Discovered by German researchers in Ecuador, this trap-jaw ant was confirmed as a new species by Yale University taxonomist Douglas Booher. Its etymology was written with help from Michael Stipe of R.E.M.

D. Booher, et al. ZOOKEYS (2021)

Strumigenys ayersthey was named after activist Jeremy Ayers. It’s the first new species to use the -they suffix, in honor of non-binary gender identities. Typically, species names end in -ae when named after women and -i when named after men.

7. Nanaloricus valdemari & Nanaloricus mathildeae

Researchers from France discovered two new species of loriciferans, a type of microscopic sea animal.

Ricardo C. Neves

Along with the discovery of the new species, the researchers were able to capture a rare video of the tiny marine creature.

Ricardo C. Neves

6. Bombus incognitus

Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden discovered a new type of bumblebee in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, which looks identical to a previously discovered species.

Jennifer Geib

The researchers say there may be more bumblebees in mountainous regions than previously thought. Warming of cold-weather environments could also prompt the birth of new species.

5. Grimpoteuthis imperator

German scientists found a new species of dumbo octopus living in the Emperor Seamounts region, which inspired its name.

A. Ziegler, et al. BMC BIOLOGY (2021)

The researchers used less-invasive examination methods like MRI and micro-CT scans to identify the species without damaging the rare specimen they collected.

4. Gastrotheca gemma

A new species of marsupial frog was found in a protected area of the Amazon in northern Peru.

National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State

New species of amphibians are thought to be among the most common undiscovered animals in tropical regions.

3. Etelis boweni

Researchers from the U.S., Spain, and Taiwan identified a new species of snapper found across the Pacific Ocean. It was named after University of Hawaii researcher Brian Bowen.

NOAA Fisheries
2. Ummidia richmond

A researcher from Piedmont College identified a new spider species related to tarantulas, which was first found at Zoo Miami.

Zoo Miami

The spider’s common name is the Pine Rockland Trapdoor Spider, after the forest that surrounds the zoo where it was found.

1. Scolopendra alcyona

Researchers from Japan discovered a new species of amphibious centipede in Japan’s Ryukyu Archipelago. It’s the largest centipede ever found in the country.

Tokyo Metropolitan University

Nicolas Reusens/Moment/Getty Images

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