Two new tree species discovered in Colombia

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  • September 20, 2021
  • Trees of the genus Otoba have small, foul-smelling flowers coloured in yellow or greenish yellow, and round, aromatic fruits. Toucans, monkeys, or small terrestrial animals sometimes feed on their fruits, while herbivorous insects have developed a taste for their leaves. Part of the nutmeg family, Otoba trees are widely distributed from Nicaragua to Brazil, with […]

    From an amateur nature video to a unique study on Antarctic jellyfish

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  • September 15, 2021
  • Sometimes research emerges from the strangest turns of events. In this case, an online video created by an amateur videographer on life under the sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, resulted in a unique taxonomic study on Antarctic jellyfish and an image-based training set for machine learning. This study was published in the open-access Biodiversity Data Journal.

    One water bucket to find them all: Detecting fish, mammals, and birds from a single sample

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  • September 13, 2021
  • In times of exacerbating biodiversity loss, reliable data on species occurrence are essential. Environmental DNA (eDNA) – DNA released from organisms into the water – is increasingly used to detect fishes in biodiversity monitoring campaigns. However, eDNA turns out to be capable of providing much more than fish occurrence data, including information on other vertebrates. A study, published in the open-access journal Metabarcoding and Metagenomics, demonstrates how comprehensively vertebrate diversity can be assessed at no additional costs.

    Learning more about vampire fish: first report of candiru attached to an Amazonian thorny catfish

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  • September 10, 2021
  • For the first time, scientists report a vampire fish attached to the body of an Amazonian thorny catfish. Very unusually, the candirus were attached close to the lateral bone plates, rather than the gills, where they are normally found. Since the hosts were not badly harmed, and the candirus apparently derived no food benefit, scientists believe this association is commensalistic rather than parasitic. The research is published in the open-access journal Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria.

    The mini grasshoppers that outlived dinosaurs: the fascinating world of Tetrigidae

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  • September 8, 2021
  • Have you ever seen a one-centimetre-long jumping critter in a leaflitter or close to a pond or a stream and thought that it is some juvenile insect? What you saw was probably an adult pygmy grasshopper, member of the family Tetrigidae. There are more than 2000 described species of those minute jumping insects, and this peculiar family has been around for more than 230 million years, meaninng that pygmies said both ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to dinosaurs. And yet, we know more about dinosaurs than we do about pygmy grasshoppers.

    New beautiful, dragon-like species of lizard discovered in the Tropical Andes

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  • September 1, 2021
  • Enyalioides feiruzae is a colourful, highly variable new species of lizard discovered in the upper basin of the Huallaga River in central Peru. The authors, having searched for amphibians and reptiles in the area between 2011 and 2018, have now finally described this stunning reptile as new to science in the open-access journal Evolutionary Systematics. In fact, E. feiruzae is the fourth herp species discovered by the team in this biologically underresearched part of Peru.

    On the amazing discovery of a new species and how to choose names for spiders

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  • August 13, 2021
  • Guest blog post by Alireza Zamani As someone who enjoys taking regular long walks, listening to podcasts has always been an irreplaceable source of pleasure for me. As an arachnologist and taxonomist, I had been hoping for years that someone would start a podcast dedicated to taxonomy and the discovery of new species. Thankfully, earlier […]

    48 years of Australian collecting trips in one data package

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  • July 30, 2021
  • From 1973 to 2020, Australian zoologist Dr Robert Mesibov kept careful records of the “where” and “when” of his plant and invertebrate collecting trips. Now, he has made those valuable biodiversity data freely and easily accessible via the Zenodo open-data repository, so that future researchers can rely on this “authority file” when using museum specimens collected from those events in their own studies. The new dataset is described in the open-access, peer-reviewed Biodiversity Data Journal.

    The first Red List of Taxonomists in Europe is calling for the support of insect specialists

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  • July 27, 2021
  • The Red List of Taxonomists portal, where taxonomy experts in the field of entomology can register to help map and assess expertise across Europe, in order to provide action points necessary to overcome the risks, preserve and support this important scientific community, will remain open until 30th September 2021. About 1,000 insect taxonomists – both […]