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 […]

    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 […]

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

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  • September 17, 2018
  • 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 […]

    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)), […]

    Beetle named after actress & biologist Isabella Rossellini for her series about animals

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  • July 30, 2018
  • A new species of beetle with remarkably long genitalia that hint at a curious evolutionary “sexual arms race” has been described from Malaysian Borneo. The new insect was named after actress and biologist Isabella Rossellini in honour of her stage shows and Webby Award-winning series of films about animal reproduction, featured on SundanceTV. The species is […]

    Journal of Hymenoptera Research links Crocodile Dundee, Toblerone, Game of Thrones & Alien

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  • June 26, 2018
  • A myriad of species and genera new to science, including economically important wasps drawing immediate attention because of their amusing names and remarkable physical characters, in addition to work set to lay the foundations for future taxonomic and conservation research, together comprise the latest 64th issue of Journal of Hymenoptera Research (JHR). Two genera (Qrocodiledundee and Tobleronius) named after […]

    Canadian scientist names a new species of cuckoo bee after Sir David Attenborough

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  • May 8, 2018
  • A total of fifteen new species of bees, where one honors the English broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, are described by Thomas Onuferko, PhD candidate at York University in Toronto, Canada. His paper is published in the open access journal ZooKeys. The new species, called Attenborough’s epeolus (pronounced ee-pee-oh-lus), is rare and known from […]

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

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  • 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 […]