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.

    Shining like a diamond: a new species of diamond frog from northern Madagascar

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  • Despite the active ongoing taxonomic progress on the Madagascar frogs, the amphibian inventory of this hyper-diverse island is still very far from being complete. More new species are constantly being discovered, often within already well-studied areas. So, in one of the relatively well-studied parks in northern Madagascar, a new species of diamond frog, Rhombophryne ellae, was found in 2017. Now, the discovery is published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

    Scientists unravel the evolution and relationships for all European butterflies in a first

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  • June 15, 2020
  • For the first time, a complete time-calibrated phylogeny for a large group of invertebrates is published for an entire continent. A German-Swedish team of scientists provide a diagrammatic hypothesis of the relationships and evolutionary history for all 496 European species of butterflies currently in existence. Their study provides an important tool for evolutionary and ecological research, meant for the use of insect and ecosystem conservation.