New species of moths discovered in the Alps named after three famous alpinists

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  • April 27, 2020
  • The discovery of new, still unnamed animal species in a well-researched European region like the Alps is always a small sensation. All the more surprising is the description of a total of three new to science species previously misidentified as long-known alpine moths. During a genetic project of the Tyrolean State Museums in Innsbruck (Austria), Austrian entomologist […]

    Rare South American ground beetles sport unusual, likely multi-purpose antennal cleaners

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  • April 20, 2020
  • For 157 years, scientists have wished they could understand the evolutionary relationships of a curious South American ground beetle that was missing a distinctive feature of the huge family of ground beetles (Carabidae). Could it be that this rare species was indeed lacking a characteristic trait known in over 40,000 species worldwide and how could […]

    All microgastrinae wasps from around the world finally together in a 1,089-page monograph

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  • March 24, 2020
  • With 3,000 known species and thousands more left to describe, the wasps of the subfamily Microgastrinae are the single most important group of parasitoids attacking the larvae of butterflies and moths, many of which are economically important pests. Consequently, these wasps have a significant impact on both the world’s economy and biodiversity. Due to their […]

    Ancient Mantis-Man Petroglyph Discovered in Iran

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  • March 16, 2020
  • A unique rock carving found in the Teymareh rock art site (Khomein county) in Central Iran with six limbs has been described as part man, part mantis. Rock carvings, or petroglyphs, of invertebrate animals are rare, so entomologists teamed up with archaeologists to try and identify the motif. They compared the carving with others around […]

    Book on plants in the Murmansk region (Russia) scores 4/19 correct insect identifications

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  • March 4, 2020
  • Mistakes can occur in any environment, but what if the records we read about are actually incorrect? The case of unqualified scientists publishing false records of insects in the Murmansk oblast of Russia is described in the recent paper in the open-access journal Arctic Environmental Research.

    Second of its kind ‘sharpshooter’ leafhopper from Brazil ‘strikes’ with its colouration

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  • January 28, 2020
  • When, in 2014, Brazilian researchers stumbled across a never-before-seen red-eyed leafhopper feeding inside the rosettes of bromeliads, growing in the restingas of southeastern Brazil, they were certain it was a one-of-a-kind discovery. Described as new-to-science species, as well as genus (Cavichiana bromelicola) and added to the sharpshooter tribe Cicadellini, it became the first known case […]

    Cave fights for food: voracious spiders vs assassin bugs

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  • January 22, 2020
  • Adult specimens of Zelurus diasi (left) and Enoploctenus cyclotorax (right) observed in the study area.

    Killing and eating of potential competitors has rarely been documented in the zoological literature, even though this type of interaction can affect population dynamics. In a recent publication in the open-access journal Subterranean Biology, Brazilian scientists presented their notes regarding the predation of an assassin bug by a spider in Neotropical caves. Underground, where food resources are scarce, such events might be possible as a result of ecological pressures imposed by the hostile environment, hypothesise the researchers.

    Revolutionary method could bring us much closer to the description of hyperdiverse faunas

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  • July 25, 2019
  • A novel approach relying on a short sequence of mitochondrial DNA in conjunction with a lateral image of the holotype specimen was proposed to greatly accelerate species identification and description, especially when it comes to hyperdiverse taxa, such as parasitic wasps.

    Two new species of parasitic wasps described from an altitude of over 3,400 m in Tibet

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  • July 3, 2019
  • Specimens kept in the collection of the Institute of Beneficial Insects at the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU, China) revealed the existence of two previously unknown species of endoparasitoid wasps. Originally collected in 2013, the insects are known to inhabit prairies and bushes at above 3,400 m, which is quite an unusual altitude for this group […]

    New to science New Zealand moths link mythological deities to James Cameron’s films

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  • June 11, 2019
  • In an unexpected discovery from New Zealand, two species of narrowly distributed moths were described as new species. Interestingly, both Arctesthes titanica and Arctesthes avatar were named after mythological deities and top-grossing blockbusters by famous filmmaker James Cameron: Titanic and Avatar, respectively.