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.

    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.

    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 […]

    Trapdoor spiders named after Neil Gaiman, Peter Gabriel and Brandi Carlile among 33 new to science species

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  • July 7, 2021
  • New species named after famous novelist Neil Gaiman, musician and human rights activist Peter Gabriel and singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile are among thirty-three new trapdoor spiders described from across North and South America. Following the discovery, published in the openly accessible, peer-reviewed scholarly journal ZooKeys, the known species in the genus Ummidia increased more than twice.

    Beetles, biodiversity and ‘Battlestar Galactica’

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  • June 25, 2021
  • Michigan State entomologists have discovered dozens of new beetle species — and named some after iconic sci-fi heroines The original Star Trek television series took place in a future when space is the final frontier, but humanity hasn’t reached that point quite yet. As researchers like Michigan State University entomologists Sarah Smith and Anthony Cognato […]

    The incredible return of Griffon Vulture to Bulgaria’s Eastern Balkan Mountains

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  • May 17, 2021
  • Fifty years after presumably becoming extinct as a breeding species in Bulgaria, the Griffon Vulture, one of the largest birds of prey in Europe, is back in the Eastern Balkan Mountains. Since 2009, three local conservation NGOs – Green Balkans – Stara Zagora, the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna and the Birds of Prey […]