Creepy-crawly species go in for a recount

April 12, 2001

Good news for those afraid of creepy crawlies - there may be fewer species than previously thought.

Frode Øregaard, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research in Trondheim, has revised the estimate of 30 million species of arthropod, the most diverse phylum of animals that includes insects, spiders and crustaceans.

However, the squeamish should not celebrate yet. Dr Øregaard still estimates, based on sampling and new models, there are 5 to 10 million of them. His research is published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

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