Scientists took a rare chance to prove we can quantify biodiversity by ‘testing the water’

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  • December 4, 2020
  • Recent study conducted at a UK fishery farm provides new evidence that DNA from water samples can accurately determine fish abundance and biomass Organisms excrete DNA in their surroundings through metabolic waste, sloughed skin cells or gametes, and this genetic material is referred to as environmental DNA (eDNA). As eDNA can be collected directly from […]

    Tiny cave snail with muffin-top waistline rolls out of the dark in Laos

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  • November 16, 2020
  • A new species of tiny cave snail that glistens in the light and has a muffin-top-like bulge, was discovered by Marina Ferrand of the French Club Etude et Exploration des Gouffres et Carrières (EEGC), during the Phouhin Namno caving expedition in Tham Houey Yè cave in Laos in March 2019. The new species, named Laoennea renouardi was described in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Subterranean Biology.

    Death from below: the first video of a parasitic wasp attacking caterpillar underwater

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  • November 4, 2020
  • Named after fictional monster Godzilla, a parasitic wasp becomes the first observed and filmed to dive underwater for several seconds, in order to attack and pull out caterpillar hosts, so that it can lay its eggs inside them before releasing them back in the water.

    First Australian night bees recorded foraging under the cover of darkness

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  • November 2, 2020
  • Original post by Flinders University, Australia Australian bees are known for pollinating plants on beautiful sunny days, but a new study has identified two species that have adapted their vision for night-time conditions for the first time. The study by a team of ecology researchers has observed night time foraging behaviour by a nomiine (Reepenia […]

    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 […]