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

  • 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

  • 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 […]

    New ant species from Borneo explodes to defend its colony

  • April 19, 2018
  • Amongst the countless fascinating plants and animals inhabiting the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, there are the spectacular “exploding ants”, a group of arboreal, canopy dwelling ants nicknamed for their unique defensive behaviour. When threatened by other insects, minor workers can actively rupture their body wall. Apart from leading to the ants’ imminent death, the […]

    A new hope: One of North America’s rarest bees has its known range greatly expanded

  • April 16, 2018
  • The Macropis Cuckoo Bee is one of the rarest bees in North America, partly because of its specialized ecological associations. It is a nest parasite of oil-collecting bees of the genus Macropis which, in turn, are dependent on oil-producing flowers of the genus Lysimachia. In fact, the cuckoo bee – which much like its feather-bearing counterpart does not build a […]

    Double trouble: Invasive insect species overlooked as a result of a shared name

  • February 8, 2018
  • An invasive leaf-mining moth, feeding on cornelian cherry, has been gradually expanding its distributional range from its native Central Europe northwards for a period likely longer than 60 years. During that period, it has remained under the cover of a taxonomic confusion, while going by a name shared with another species that feeds on common […]

    New parasitoid wasp likely uses unique saw-like spines to break out of its host body

  • January 31, 2018
  • About the size of a sesame seed, a new species of wasp from Costa Rica, named Dendrocerus scutellaris, has elaborate branched antennae that could be used for finding mates. Or hosts. The new insect is described by PhD candidate Carolyn Trietsch, Dr. István Mikó and Dr. Andrew Deans of the Frost Entomological Museum at Penn State, USA, together […]

    Two new snout moth genera and three new species discovered in southern China

  • January 25, 2018
  • New members have joined the ranks of the snout moths – one of the largest groups within the insect order known formally as Lepidoptera, comprising all moths and butterflies. Recently, taxonomists Dr. Mingqiang Wang, Dr. Fuqiang Chen, Prof. Chaodong Zhu and Prof. Chunsheng Wu of the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences described two […]

    Citizen scientists discover 6 new species of beetles in Borneo

  • December 6, 2017
  • Scientists estimate that 80% of the world’s animal and plant species are still unknown. Although the work of taxonomists (whose job is to describe and name those) is appreciated by the general public, funding for taxonomy is dwindling. Moreover, while the areas hosting most of the unknown biodiversity are under threat, time is running out. […]