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    New moth species discovered on VUB campus

    © Belga
    The newly found moth species Gelechia Sestertiella is spreading its wings.
    © Belga

    The entomologist, Bart Van Camp, has discovered, on the Dutch-speaking Free University of Brussels (VUB) campus, a new moth species never before observed in the Benelux region. The species is Gelechia Sestertiella, an insect which does not yet have a name in French.

    The discovery is exceptional as few butterflies and moths are generally observed within the Brussels-Capital region. The researcher, Bart Van Camp, currently has a record of a total of 110 species on VUB’s Etterbeek campus. He had previously found 100 such species on the neighbouring site belonging to VRT. At each capture experiment, the entomologist finds specimens which have not yet been indicated in the region. In total, around 2,500 moth species have been spotted in Belgium to date.

    Bart Van Camp believes, “The diversity of the city’s ‘green islands’, such as the VUB campus, is unbelievable. However, the most astonishing thing is that few people realise this is so. Not only should we become involved in more scientific research relating to urban ecology, but equally we should show people the beauty in the streets and the city.”

    VUB has been committed to the biodiversity of its campuses for several years. For this reason, the Brussels Health campus, situated close to the Bois du Laerbeek (a famous wood) and the Marais de Jette-Ganshoren (a well-known marsh), was renamed Zone Natura 2000. A rare grass snake, amongst other species, lives in this area.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times