The San Lorenzo forest is estimated to be home to as many as 6,000 species of insect per acre of trees.
The largest ever survey of insects, spiders and other arthropods involving more than 100 scientists and lasting more than a decade has helped to reveal the incredible variety of species that live in the Panama rainforest. The task of cataloging the abundance of species in the region is notoriously difficult due to the creatures' small size and inaccessible habitats. To combat this, scientists used a number of different techniques such as climbing tree trunks and deploying helium balloons to reach the forest canopy.
"This is the first time that diversity of all types of arthropods has been quantified from a tropical rainforest," said ecologist Tomas Roslin. The results identified the presence of more than 25,000 arthropod species in the forest, 60% to 70% of which being previously unknown.
"A sweeping census involving more than 100 scientists and lasting almost a decade has estimated that Panama’s San Lorenzo forest is home to an estimated 25,246 arthropod species."
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