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 […]

    3D avatars for three new rare ant species from Africa including the Obama ant

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  • August 31, 2017
  • Three new, rare ant species recently discovered in Africa were named after important figures for the African biodiversity conservation – the former United States president Barack Obama, the Nigerian writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, and the world-renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson. The scientists from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), […]

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

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  • December 6, 2016
  • 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 […]

    More than just hippos and crocs: The hidden biodiversity of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

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  • June 6, 2016
  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the sub-tropical north-eastern corner of South Africa has become famous for its birdlife, crocodiles and hippopotamuses that frolic in the warm estuarine waters of Lake St Lucia. However, there’s more to the park than the “big and hairy”, according to aquatic ecologist Prof Renzo Perissinotto at […]

    Poorly known South African mountain endemic appears to be a very valuable keystone species

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  • April 21, 2016
  • Mountain ecosystems are valuable providers of key resources including water. These ecosystems comprise diverse species, some of which appear to be especially important to the ecosystem’s functioning. In poorly studied mountain environments in biodiversity-rich countries, these keystone species can often be overlooked and undervalued. Macowania is a group of yellow daisy shrubs occurring in the […]

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

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  • October 8, 2015
  • 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 […]

    Saucer-like shields protect 2 new ‘door head’ ant species from Africa and their nests

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  • October 6, 2015
  • Shaped like saucers, or concave shields, and covered with camouflaging layers of debris, the heads of two “door head” ant species are found to differentiate them as new taxa. They use their peculiar features to block the entrances of their nests against intruders like other predatory ants and invertebrates. Being only the second case of […]