New species discovered… on Flickr.

NPR takes a close look at an eye-catching insect… a new species of lacewing entomologists discovered on Flickr:

[Shaun] Winterton, a senior entomologist at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, has seen a lot of bugs. But he hadn’t seen this species before.

“I sent the link to a few colleagues of mine,” Winterton told The Picture Show. “They hadn’t seen it either. And I realized: This thing’s new.”

Excited, Winterton emailed Guek Hock Ping, the photographer who had posted the pictures of the unclassified lacewing on Flickr, a popular photo-sharing site.

Guek had noticed the insect while hiking the jungles of Malaysia, taken the photos, and then watched it fly away.

I think this is the first species discovered on the internet. Or at least on a Web 2.0 platform (does anybody talk about those anymore?). Winterton named the lacewing after his daughter… but it’s probably only a matter of time before there’s a Something facebookii out there.