Newly discovered moth named Icarus sports a flame-shaped mark and prefers high elevations

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  • October 9, 2018
  • The paper describing the new species is part of a special issue dedicated to macro moths of the New World published in the open-access journal ZooKeys Newly-recognized species of owlet moth recently discovered to inhabit high-elevation mountains in western North America was named after the Greek mythological character Icarus. From now on, scientists will be […]

    The first drywood termite known to use snapping stick-like mandibles to defend its colony

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  • October 2, 2018
  • Tasked to defend the colony from attackers, the specialised soldier caste in some termite species has evolved various impressive mechanisms, including plug-like heads – meant to block intruding ants trying to invade their lairs, and mouthparts designed to bite and pierce. Still, there are even more spectacular soldiers, such as a recently discovered drywood termite […]

    Scientific divers from the California Academy of Sciences discover new species of dazzling, neon-colored fish

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  • September 25, 2018
  • Post originally published by the California Academy of Sciences Named for Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, a new species of fish enchants Academy scientists On a recent expedition to the remote Brazilian archipelago of St. Paul’s Rocks, a new species of reef fish—striped a vivid pink and yellow—enchanted its diving discoverers from the California […]

    Two fish a day keep the mantid coming back to prey: The 1st fishing praying mantis

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  • September 20, 2018
  • Commonly known to predate on insects, praying mantises have occasionally been observed to feed on vertebrates, including small birds, lizards, frogs, newts, mice, snakes and turtles. Mostly, such records have either not been scientifically validated or have occurred under induced and human-manipulated circumstances. Nevertheless, no scientific data of mantises preying on fish existed until the […]

    New light on the controversial question of species abundance and population density

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  • September 17, 2018
  • Inspired by the negative results in the recently published largest-scale analysis of the relation between population density and positions in geographic ranges and environmental niches, Drs Jorge Soberon and Andrew Townsend Peterson of the University of Kansas, USA, teamed up with Luis Osorio-Olvera, National University of Mexico (UNAM), and identified several issues in the methodology used, able to […]

    Tiny moth from Asia spreading fast on Siberian elms in eastern North America

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  • In 2010, moth collector James Vargo began finding numerous specimens of a hitherto unknown pygmy moth in his light traps on his property in Indiana, USA. When handed to Erik van Nieukerken, researcher at Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, the Netherlands) and specialist in pygmy moths (family Nepticulidae), the scientist failed to identify it as a previously known […]

    Total of 21 new parasitoid wasps following the first ever revision of their genus

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  • September 11, 2018
  • As many as twenty-one species of parasitoid wasps are described as new to science, following the first ever revision of their genus since its establishment back in 1893. The study simultaneously updates the count of species within the genus (Chromoteleia) to 27 in total, produces a systematic revision of the world’s representatives of this group […]

    Towards untangling the ‘antennal grabbing’ phenomenon in mating cuckoo bees

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  • August 27, 2018
  • Scientists report this behavior for the first time in the genus Nomada, following both lab and field observations in Germany One can seldom spot a cuckoo bee, whose peculiar kleptoparasitic behaviour includes laying eggs in the nests of a certain host bee species, let alone a couple mating. Nevertheless, German scientists – Dr. Matthias Schindler, University […]

    Right under our noses: A novel lichen-patterned spider found on oaks in central Spain

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  • August 8, 2018
  • It happened again, a previously unknown spider species, whose home is a strongly humanised European country, appears to have been quietly and patiently waiting to get noticed until very recently. Living on the trunks of oaks in Spain, the new species would have probably been spotted decades ago, had it not been for its sophisticated […]

    Mosquito populations give a new insight into the role of Caucasus in evolution

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  • August 6, 2018
  • We know that the Caucasus is a relatively large mountainous region, situated between Black and the Caspian seas. In its turn, it is divided into three subregions: Ciscaucasia, Greater Caucasus and Transcaucasia, also known as South Caucasus. A closer look into the chromosome structure of mosquito larvae of a curious group of species (Chironomus “annularius” sensu Strenzke (1959)), […]