One of 8 new endemic polyester bees from Chile bears the name of a draconic Pokemon

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  • June 1, 2016
  • Among the eight new bee species that Spencer K. Monckton has discovered as part of his Biology Master’s degree at York University, there is one named after a popular draconic creature from the Japanese franchise Pokémon. Called the stem-nesting Charizard, the new insect belongs to a subgenus, whose 17 species are apparently endemic to Chile, […]

    Scientist collects 30 sawfly species not previously reported from Arkansas

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  • May 16, 2016
  • Sawflies and wood wasps form a group of insects that feed mainly on plants when immature. Field work by Dr. Michael Skvarla, which was conducted during his Ph.D. research at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA, has uncovered 30 species of these plant-feeding wasps that were previously unknown in the state. The study is published it […]

    New immigrant: Shiny Cowbirds noted from a recording altitude of 2,800 m in Ecuador

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  • May 5, 2016
  • Two juveniles of Shiny Cowbird, a parasitic bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, were spotted in the Andean city of Quito, Ecuador, for the first time. This finding represents an altitudinal expansion of approximately 500 m. Breeding populations might have been prompted by forest fragmentation and/or climate change, suggest the […]

    Curious new bush species growing ‘bleeding’ fruits named by a US class of 150 7th graders

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  • May 4, 2016
  • A class of 150 US 7th graders has helped select a name for a newly discovered plant, which amazes with its fruits that appear to be bleeding once they are cut open. Bucknell University biology professor Chris Martine and life science teacher Bradley Catherman challenged the students to come up with ideas for what to call […]

    Flightless survivors: Incredible invertebrate diversity in Los Angeles metropolitan area

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  • May 3, 2016
  • Urban wildlife is surprisingly understudied. We tend to know more about animals in exotic places than about those that live in our cities. This is why researchers Emile Fiesler, president of Bioveyda Biological Inventories, Surveys, and Biodiversity Assessments, USA, and Tracy Drake, manager of the Madrona Marsh Preserve, looked into the fauna of the Madrona […]

    A new scorpion from California reveals hidden biodiversity in the Golden State

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  • April 27, 2016
  • California is known for its high biological diversity. The state encompasses a wide variety of habitats, from temperate coastal scrub and cool redwood forests to high-elevation conifer forests and grasslands that are home to an equally diverse variety of plants and animals. Biologists have been intensively studying and characterizing the biodiversity of California for centuries. […]

    New curiously scaled beetle species from New Britain named after ‘Star Wars’ Chewbacca

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  • April 26, 2016
  • Chewbacca, the fictional ‘Star Wars’ character, has given his name to a new species of flightless beetle, discovered in New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Although Trigonopterus chewbacca was only one of the four black new weevil beetles found during the expedition, it stood out with its curious scales, which made the authors think of Han […]

    New land snail species from Australia shows dissection not necessary to identify molluscs

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  • Dissection might prove unnecessary when identifying new molluscs after scientists Corey Whisson, Western Australian Museum, and Dr Abraham Breure, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Netherlands, and Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium, described a previously unknown land snail based on its genitalia, yet without damaging the specimen in the slightest. The new species is published in […]

    Tracing the ancestry of dung beetles

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  • April 25, 2016
  • One of the largest and most important groups of dung beetles in the world evolved from a single common ancestor and relationships among the various lineages are now known, according to new research by an entomologist from Western Kentucky University. The study by Dr T. Keith Philips, recently published in the open access journal ZooKeys, […]

    South African endemic mountain plant gives itself up after 147-year absence

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  • April 20, 2016
  • South Africa’s mountains are essential to the economic well-being of the country, providing many goods and services essential for social and economic prosperity. However, the biodiversity value of these mountains is still poorly understood. This is exemplified by the large number of plant species still only known from one or two collections made well over […]