‘Insectageddon’ is ‘alarmist by bad design’: Scientists point out the study’s major flaws

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Earlier this year, a research article triggered a media frenzy by predicting that as a result of an ongoing rapid decline, nearly half of the world’s insects will be no more pretty soon Amidst worldwide publicity and talks about ‘Insectageddon’: the extinction of 40% of the world’s insects, as estimated in a recent scientific review, a critical […]

    Star Wars and Asterix characters amongst 103 beetles new to science from Sulawesi, Indonesia

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  • March 7, 2019
  • The Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been long known for its enigmatic fauna, including the deer-pig (babirusa) and the midget buffalo. However, small insects inhabiting the tropical forests have remained largely unexplored. Such is the case for the tiny weevils of the genus Trigonopterus of which only a single species had been known from the island since […]

    Non-native pest-controlling wasp identified in Canada prior to formal approval

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  • February 25, 2019
  • Thought to be Canada’s most promising potential defense against the brown marmorated stink bug – a globally spreading agricultural pest native to Asia – the samurai wasp (another species from Asia and natural parasitoid of the former) has been considered for future release in the country in recent years. However, prior to any formal decision […]

    Citizen scientists discover pinhead-sized beetle in Borneo

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  • January 31, 2019
  • The discovery is the latest in a series of newly described species collected as part of the Taxon Expeditions initiative aiming to bring biodiversity and taxonomy closer to the layperson How many citizen scientists does it take to discover a new species? A recent expedition to the Ulu Temburong forest in Borneo proved that you […]

    The first case of a Portuguese beetle living exclusively in groundwater

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  • January 8, 2019
  • New to science, the species was named after Pluto, the ruler of the underworld in Greek mythology A diving beetle demonstrating various adaptations to the life underground, including depigmentation and evolutionary loss of eyes, was discovered at the bottom of a clay pound in the cave Soprador do Carvalho, Portugal. The species turned out to […]

    Austrian-Danish research team discover as many as 22 new moth species from across Europe

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  • November 29, 2018
  • The last time so many previously unknown moths have been discovered at once in the best-studied continent was in 1887 Following a long-year study of the family of twirler moths, an Austrian-Danish research team discovered a startling total of 44 new species, including as many as 22 species inhabiting various regions throughout Europe. Given that […]

    Advanced computer technology & software turn species identification interactive

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  • November 14, 2018
  • Important group of biocontrol wasps from Central Europe are used to demonstrate the perks and advantages of modern, free-to-use software Representing a group of successful biocontrol agents for various pest fruit flies, a parasitic wasp genus remains largely overlooked. While its most recent identification key dates back to 1969, many new species have been added […]

    Large-sized fossilised lacewings prove remarkable species diversity during Middle Jurassic

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  • October 23, 2018
  • Middle Jurassic has always been considered as a mysterious ancient period full of ‘magical’ dinosaurs, pterosaurs and plants. However, when we think about the Jurassic landscape, we should take insects into consideration as well. The lacewings, for example, are a graceful group famous for the lovely net-like veins on their wings, beautiful enough to stand […]

    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 […]