A species of bee unknown to science has been found at Forrestdale, underlining Perth's reputation as one of the world's most biodiverse cities.
WA Museum scientists discovered the species - which unlike honeybees live a solitary existence - last month in bush within the Jandakot Regional Park.
Museum insect curator Terry Houston, who made the find with museum volunteer Otto Mueller, said it was unusual for such a relatively big and distinctive insect to go unnoticed for so long.
Males of the species act as gatekeepers at the entrances to burrows and their big jaws suggest they are adept at fighting. In contrast, males of most bee species do not play a role in rearing or protecting the young.
"As with many native animals living in our remnant bushland areas, this population is at risk from ongoing or new urban development," Dr Houston said.WA Museum chief executive Alec Coles said the discovery was the latest in an impressive string of animal finds made by the museum's scientists.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.