Chance record of an annual mass emergence of enigmatic mantis-flies

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  • December 4, 2017
  • Being neither mantids nor flies, the peculiar mantis-flies are in fact predatory lacewings which use their mantis-like forelegs to catch prey. While most mantis-flies are known to feed on spider eggs in their immature stages, the larval lifestyle of one subfamily–the Drepanicinae–has remained a mystery. That is until James Dorey, an accomplished insect photographer and student […]

    Shadow-loving insect named after Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish

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  • March 6, 2017
  • Tuomas Holopainen, the multi-talented musician and founder of the symphonic metal band Nightwish, is also a full-blooded nature person. This gave conservation biologist Jukka Salmela of Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland an idea for the name of a new species he found in Finland. Discovered in eastern Lapland during an insect survey, the fungus gnat […]

    Assassins on the rise: A new species and a new tribe of endemic South African robber flies

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  • December 6, 2016
  • Discovery of a new species of assassin flies led to the redescription of its genus. This group of curious predatory flies live exclusively in South Africa, preferring relatively dry habitats. Following the revisit, authors Drs Jason Londt, KwaZulu-Natal Museum, South Africa, and Torsten Dikow, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, USA, publish updated information […]

    The city of angels and flies: 12 unknown scuttle fly species have been flying around L.A.

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  • April 14, 2016
  • Although the second-largest and rather concrete metropolis in the United States might not be anywhere near one’s immediate association for a biodiversity hotspot, the fly fauna of Los Angeles is quite impressive. As part of BioSCAN, a project devoted to exploring the insect diversity in and around the city, a team of three entomologists report […]

    Surprising exotic flies in the backyard: New gnat species from Museum Koenig’s garden

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  • April 4, 2016
  • Little did scientists Kai Heller and Björn Rulik expect to discover a new species in Germany’s Alexander Koenig Museum‘s garden upon placing a malaise trap for testing purposes. Not only did an unknown and strikingly coloured gnat get caught, but it turned out to be a species, which showed to have much more in common […]