Star Wars and Asterix characters amongst 103 beetles new to science from Sulawesi, Indonesia

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  • March 7, 2019
  • The Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been long known for its enigmatic fauna, including the deer-pig (babirusa) and the midget buffalo. However, small insects inhabiting the tropical forests have remained largely unexplored. Such is the case for the tiny weevils of the genus Trigonopterus of which only a single species had been known from the island since […]

    Non-native pest-controlling wasp identified in Canada prior to formal approval

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  • February 25, 2019
  • Thought to be Canada’s most promising potential defense against the brown marmorated stink bug – a globally spreading agricultural pest native to Asia – the samurai wasp (another species from Asia and natural parasitoid of the former) has been considered for future release in the country in recent years. However, prior to any formal decision […]

    Sir Charles Lyell’s historical fossils kept at London’s Natural History Museum accessible online

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  • February 21, 2019
  • More than 1,700 animal and plant specimens from the collection of eminent British geologist Sir Charles Lyell – known as the pioneer of modern geology – were organised, digitised and made openly accessible via the NHM Data Portal in a pilot project, led by Dr Consuelo Sendino, curator at the Department of Earth Sciences (Natural […]

    Aloe sanguinalis, a new red Aloe from Somaliland

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  • February 14, 2019
  • Aloe sanguinalis, or Somali Red Aloe, forms large, conspicuous clumps and has blood red sap. Its can easily be spotted from the road, but the species has only just been named and described in the open access journal PhytoKeys. It remains a mystery how this beautiful and showy aloe species has remained undescribed by science […]

    Newly discovered turtle species is facing extinction

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  • February 13, 2019
  • For decades, it has been assumed that the Chinese Softshell Turtles from East Asia all belonged to one and the same species, Pelodiscus sinensis. Widely distributed all the way from the Russian Far East through the Korean Peninsula to China and Vietnam, the species was said to vary substantially in terms of its looks across localities. […]

    New puddle frog species leaps into the spotlight from an unexplored mountain, Ethiopia

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  • A new species of puddle frog has just been discovered by NYU Abu Dhabi researchers at the unexplored and isolated Bibita Mountain in southwestern Ethiopia. The research team named the new species Phrynobatrachus bibita sp. nov., or Bibita Mountain dwarf puddle frog, inspired by its home. In summer 2018, NYU Abu Dhabi Postdoctoral Associates Sandra […]

    New tarantula species from Angola distinct with a one-of-a-kind ‘horn’ on its back

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  • February 12, 2019
  • A new to science species of tarantula with a peculiar horn-like protuberance sticking out of its back was recently identified from Angola, a largely underexplored country located at the intersection of several Afrotropical ecoregions. Collected as part of the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, which aims to uncover the undersampled biodiversity in the entire Okavango […]

    Brazil-endemic plant genus Mcvaughia highlights diversity in a unique biome

  • Iliyana Kuzmova
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  • The small genus is found exclusively in the recently recognized Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests biome. A new species of the Brazil-endemic small genus Mcvaughia is described as part of a extended revision of this unique group. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys. Mcvaughia is a genus of the plant family Malpighiaceae comprising just three known species, all […]

    The Widow Next Door: Where is the globally invasive Noble False Widow settling next?

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  • Spiders are one of the most successful groups of ‘invaders’ on the planet. Out of over 47,000 species of spiders known today, there are some that tend to follow humans across the globe and settle in habitats far away from their native homelands. A particularly notorious example is the species Steatoda nobilis, the Noble False […]

    Ice Age survivors or stranded travellers? A new subterranean species discovered in Canada

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  • February 5, 2019
  • The discovery of a new to science species of rare and primitive arthropod from the depths of a cave that was covered by a thick ice sheet until recently is certain to raise questions. In their study, published in the open-access journal Subterranean Biology, entomologist Alberto Sendra and local caver Craig Wagnell describe a new species of cave-dwelling, […]