Data checking for biodiversity collections and other biodiversity data compilers from Pensoft

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  • October 21, 2020
  • Guest blog post by Dr Robert Mesibov Proofreading the text of scientific papers isn’t hard, although it can be tedious. Are all the words spelled correctly? Is all the punctuation correct and in the right place? Is the writing clear and concise, with correct grammar? Are all the cited references listed in the References section, […]

    A new species of Darwin wasp from Mexico named in observance of the 2020 quarantine period

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  • October 8, 2020
  • “We thought that it was a good idea to remember this extraordinary year through the name of one remarkable species of Darwin wasp found in seven Mexican States (including Tamaulipas, where the UAT campus is located) and also Guatemala,” comment the researchers who discovered the previously unknown species.

    Guest blog post: Snakes disembowel and feed on the organs of living toads in a first for science

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  • September 28, 2020
  • Guest blog post by Henrik Bringsøe Our observations on the quite small-bodied Asian kukri snakes in Thailand have documented a feeding behaviour which differs from anything ever described in snakes.  Normally, snakes would swallow their prey whole. However, this particular species: the Small-banded Kukri Snake (Oligodon fasciolatus), would instead use its enlarged posterior maxillary teeth […]

    Over a century later, the mystery of the Alfred Wallace’s butterfly is solved

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  • September 10, 2020
  • A living individual (Famegana nisa) in its natural habitat. Credit: Dr Yu-Feng Hsu License: CC-BY 4.0

    An over a century-long mystery has been surrounding the Taiwanese butterfly fauna ever since the “father of zoogeography” Alfred Russel Wallace described a new species of butterfly: Lycaena nisa, whose identity was only re-examined in a recent project looking into the butterflies of Taiwan. Based on the original specimens, in addition to newly collected ones, Dr Yu-Feng Hsu of the National Taiwan Normal University resurrected the species name and added two new synonyms to it.

    New subspecies of the rarest Palaearctic butterfly found in the Arctic Circle of Yakutia

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  • September 8, 2020
  • An isolated population of the rarest Palaearctic butterfly species: the Arctic Apollo (Parnassius arcticus), turned out to be a new to science subspecies with distinct looks as well as DNA. Named Parnassius arcticus arbugaevi, the butterfly is described in a recent paper, published in the peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal Acta Biologica Sibirica.  “Thanks to the […]

    Notice me! Neglected for over a century, Black sea spider crab re-described

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  • September 1, 2020
  • After the revision of available type specimens from all available collections in the Russian museums and the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt-on-Main, as well as newly collected material in the Black Sea and the North-East Atlantic, a research team of scientists, led by Dr Vassily Spiridonov from Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of Russian Academy of Sciences, re-described Macropodia czernjawskii and provided the new data on its records and updated its ecological characteristics.

    Australia’s wish list of exotic pets

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  • August 20, 2020
  • In a new study, published in the peer-reviewed open-access scholarly journal Neobiota, scientists estimated the desire of Australians to own non-native and/or illegal alien pets and the major trends in this practice. In addition, the team suggests ways to improve biosecurity awareness in the country.

    DNA metabarcoding detects ecological stress within freshwater species

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  • August 3, 2020
  • Metabarcoding allows scientists to extract DNA from the environment, in order to rapidly detect species inhabiting a particular habitat. While the method is a great tool that facilitates conservation activities, few studies have looked into its applicability in monitoring species’ populations and their genetic diversity, which could actually be critical to assess negative trends early on. The potential of the method is confirmed in a new study, published in the peer-reviewed scholarly journal Metabarcoding & Metagenomics.