The city of angels and flies: 12 unknown scuttle fly species have been flying around L.A.

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  • April 14, 2016
  • Although the second-largest and rather concrete metropolis in the United States might not be anywhere near one’s immediate association for a biodiversity hotspot, the fly fauna of Los Angeles is quite impressive. As part of BioSCAN, a project devoted to exploring the insect diversity in and around the city, a team of three entomologists report […]

    Surprising exotic flies in the backyard: New gnat species from Museum Koenig’s garden

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  • April 4, 2016
  • Little did scientists Kai Heller and Björn Rulik expect to discover a new species in Germany’s Alexander Koenig Museum‘s garden upon placing a malaise trap for testing purposes. Not only did an unknown and strikingly coloured gnat get caught, but it turned out to be a species, which showed to have much more in common […]

    The tip of an iceberg: Four new fungus gnat species from the Scandinavian north

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  • January 21, 2016
  • One may think that the extreme north of Europe is low in insect life, except for the notorious blood-sucking flies. However, while it is a generally accepted truth that both plant and animal species’ count is higher the closer one gets to the Equator, some insects display anomalous diversity gradient. Such is the case for […]

    Cage the fly: Walk-in field cages to assess mating compatibility in pest fruit flies

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  • December 1, 2015
  • Fruit flies mating compatibility studies have been examined by an international team of researchers to assess the usefulness of walk-in field cages in studying the sexual behavior within fruit fly species complexes and recognition of taxonomically misplaced flies. In addition, they have also evaluated the relevant chemical signals during pheromone emission for species discrimination. The […]

    Novel cybercatalog of flower-loving flies suggests the digital future of taxonomy

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  • October 8, 2015
  • Charting Earth’s biodiversity is the goal of taxonomy and to do so the scientists need to create an extensive citation network based on several hundred million pages of scientific literature. By providing a novel taxonomic ‘cybercatalog’ of southern African flower-loving (apiocerid) flies, Drs. Torsten Dikow and Donat Agosti demonstrate how the network of taxonomic knowledge […]

    One new fly species, zero dead bodies: First insect description solely from photographs

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  • October 7, 2015
  • The importance of collecting dead specimens or not when verifying a new species has been a hot ongoing discussion for quite a while now. Amid voiced opinions ranging from specimen collection being “no longer required” to relying on anything but physical evidence being defined as mere “malpractice,” science is now witnessing the first description of […]