Scientists unravel the evolution and relationships for all European butterflies in a first

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  • June 15, 2020
  • For the first time, a complete time-calibrated phylogeny for a large group of invertebrates is published for an entire continent. A German-Swedish team of scientists provide a diagrammatic hypothesis of the relationships and evolutionary history for all 496 European species of butterflies currently in existence. Their study provides an important tool for evolutionary and ecological research, meant for the use of insect and ecosystem conservation.

    New species of moths discovered in the Alps named after three famous alpinists

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  • April 27, 2020
  • The discovery of new, still unnamed animal species in a well-researched European region like the Alps is always a small sensation. All the more surprising is the description of a total of three new to science species previously misidentified as long-known alpine moths. During a genetic project of the Tyrolean State Museums in Innsbruck (Austria), Austrian entomologist […]

    Tiny fly from Los Angeles has a taste for crushed invasive snails

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  • April 1, 2020
  • As part of their project BioSCAN – devoted to the exploration of the unknown insect diversity in and around the city of Los Angeles – the scientists at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (USA) have already discovered numerous insects that are new to science, but they are still only guessing about the lifestyles of these species. […]

    Fifteen years & 20 million insects later: Sweden’s impressive effort to document its insect fauna in a changing world

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  • February 18, 2020
  • The Swedish Malaise Trap Project (SMTP) was launched in 2003 with the aim of making a complete list of the insect diversity of Sweden. Over the past fifteen years, an estimated total of 20 million insects, collected during the project, have been processed for scientific study. Recently, the team behind this effort published the resulting inventory in […]

    Second of its kind ‘sharpshooter’ leafhopper from Brazil ‘strikes’ with its colouration

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  • January 28, 2020
  • When, in 2014, Brazilian researchers stumbled across a never-before-seen red-eyed leafhopper feeding inside the rosettes of bromeliads, growing in the restingas of southeastern Brazil, they were certain it was a one-of-a-kind discovery. Described as new-to-science species, as well as genus (Cavichiana bromelicola) and added to the sharpshooter tribe Cicadellini, it became the first known case […]

    New to science New Zealand moths link mythological deities to James Cameron’s films

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  • June 11, 2019
  • In an unexpected discovery from New Zealand, two species of narrowly distributed moths were described as new species. Interestingly, both Arctesthes titanica and Arctesthes avatar were named after mythological deities and top-grossing blockbusters by famous filmmaker James Cameron: Titanic and Avatar, respectively.

    ‘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 […]

    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 […]