Shadow-loving insect named after Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish

  • March 6, 2017
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    Tuomas Holopainen, the multi-talented musician and founder of the symphonic metal band Nightwish, is also a full-blooded nature person. This gave conservation biologist Jukka Salmela of Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland an idea for the name of a new species he found in Finland. Discovered in eastern Lapland during an insect survey, the fungus gnat […]

    Rarely-seen event of ant brood parasitism by scuttle flies video-documented

  • January 31, 2017
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    While many species of scuttle flies are associated with ants, their specific interactions with their hosts are largely unknown. Brood parasitism (attacking the immature stages, rather than the adult ants), for example, is an extremely rarely observed and little-studied phenomenon. However, a research team from the USA and Brazil, led by Dr. Brian Brown, Natural […]

    Assassins on the rise: A new species and a new tribe of endemic South African robber flies

  • December 6, 2016
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    Discovery of a new species of assassin flies led to the redescription of its genus. This group of curious predatory flies live exclusively in South Africa, preferring relatively dry habitats. Following the revisit, authors Drs Jason Londt, KwaZulu-Natal Museum, South Africa, and Torsten Dikow, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, USA, publish updated information […]

    Flying jewels spell death for tarantulas: Study of a North American spider fly genus

  • October 5, 2016
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    Spider flies are usually a rarely encountered group of insects, except in Western North America, where the North American jewelled spider flies (the Eulonchus genus) can be locally abundant in mountainous areas such as the Sierra Nevada of California. The brilliantly coloured adults (also known as ‘sapphires’ and ’emeralds’) are important pollinators of flowers. The […]

    The tip of an iceberg: Four new fungus gnat species from the Scandinavian north

  • January 21, 2016
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    One may think that the extreme north of Europe is low in insect life, except for the notorious blood-sucking flies. However, while it is a generally accepted truth that both plant and animal species’ count is higher the closer one gets to the Equator, some insects display anomalous diversity gradient. Such is the case for […]

    Cage the fly: Walk-in field cages to assess mating compatibility in pest fruit flies

  • December 1, 2015
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    Fruit flies mating compatibility studies have been examined by an international team of researchers to assess the usefulness of walk-in field cages in studying the sexual behavior within fruit fly species complexes and recognition of taxonomically misplaced flies. In addition, they have also evaluated the relevant chemical signals during pheromone emission for species discrimination. The […]

    Novel cybercatalog of flower-loving flies suggests the digital future of taxonomy

  • October 8, 2015
  • Micro 4/3 camera, 60 mm macro lens, LED dome light, StackShot

    Charting Earth’s biodiversity is the goal of taxonomy and to do so the scientists need to create an extensive citation network based on several hundred million pages of scientific literature. By providing a novel taxonomic ‘cybercatalog’ of southern African flower-loving (apiocerid) flies, Drs. Torsten Dikow and Donat Agosti demonstrate how the network of taxonomic knowledge […]