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 […]

    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 […]