Readers Ask: How Can I Tell If I've Found A New Species?

You see an unusual bug. Before you swat it, wait: maybe it could make you famous

Tarsier

Jasper Greek Golangco

Several Florida residents have reported seeing the Leptotyphlops microsnake long before it was announced as a new species, which herpetologist Blair Hedges named for his wife.

Readers want to know: how can you tell if the new animal or plant you've stumbled across is a unique, as of yet unnamed species?

Do you know the answer?

Submit your science and technology questions to fyi@popsci.com.