Citizen scientists discover a new water beetle and name it after Leonardo DiCaprio

  • April 30, 2018
  • New animal species are sometimes named after celebrities because of their trademark looks. That’s how we got the blonde-haired Donald Trump moth and the big-armed Arnold Schwarzenegger fly, to name a few. However, some well-known people are enshrined in animal names not for their looks, but rather for what they do for the environment. This is exactly how a […]

    Four Cheers for Marine Diversity: New species from Pensoft journals float their way up to the ‘TOP 10’ charts of WoRMS

  • April 25, 2018
  • The Harry Potter ‘hero’ crab, Palau president’s colonial anemone and the ‘living fossil’ octocoral published in ZooKeys along with the Bob Marley’s intertidal spider from the pages of Evolutionary Systematics made it to the top in the two lists compiled by the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). The ‘TOP 10’ charts mark the 10th […]

    Five new blanket-hermit crab species described 130 years later from the Pacific

  • April 24, 2018
  • Since 1888, a lone crab species living in an extraordinary symbiosis has been considered to be one of its kind At the turn of the twentieth century, two independent marine scientists – JR Henderson in 1888, and A Alcock in 1899, described two unusual blanket-hermit crabs from the Indo-West Pacific. Unlike other hermit crabs, these […]

    Audit finds biodiversity data aggregators ‘lose and confuse’ data

  • April 23, 2018
  • In an effort to improve the quality of biodiversity records, the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) use automated data processing to check individual data items. The records are provided to the ALA and GBIF by museums, herbaria and other biodiversity data sources. However, an independent analysis of such records reports that ALA […]

    New ant species from Borneo explodes to defend its colony

  • April 19, 2018
  • Amongst the countless fascinating plants and animals inhabiting the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, there are the spectacular “exploding ants”, a group of arboreal, canopy dwelling ants nicknamed for their unique defensive behaviour. When threatened by other insects, minor workers can actively rupture their body wall. Apart from leading to the ants’ imminent death, the […]

    A new hope: One of North America’s rarest bees has its known range greatly expanded

  • April 16, 2018
  • The Macropis Cuckoo Bee is one of the rarest bees in North America, partly because of its specialized ecological associations. It is a nest parasite of oil-collecting bees of the genus Macropis which, in turn, are dependent on oil-producing flowers of the genus Lysimachia. In fact, the cuckoo bee – which much like its feather-bearing counterpart does not build a […]

    The Alps are home to more than 3,000 lichens

  • March 12, 2018
  • Historically, the Alps have always played an emblematic role, being one of the largest continuous natural areas in Europe. With its numerous habitats, the mountain system is easily one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in Europe. Lichens are curious organisms comprising a stable symbiosis between a fungus and one or more photosynthetic organisms, for example […]