The mini grasshoppers that outlived dinosaurs: the fascinating world of Tetrigidae

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  • September 8, 2021
  • Have you ever seen a one-centimetre-long jumping critter in a leaflitter or close to a pond or a stream and thought that it is some juvenile insect? What you saw was probably an adult pygmy grasshopper, member of the family Tetrigidae. There are more than 2000 described species of those minute jumping insects, and this peculiar family has been around for more than 230 million years, meaninng that pygmies said both ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to dinosaurs. And yet, we know more about dinosaurs than we do about pygmy grasshoppers.

    The first Red List of Taxonomists in Europe is calling for the support of insect specialists

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  • July 27, 2021
  • The Red List of Taxonomists portal, where taxonomy experts in the field of entomology can register to help map and assess expertise across Europe, in order to provide action points necessary to overcome the risks, preserve and support this important scientific community, will remain open until 30th September 2021. About 1,000 insect taxonomists – both […]

    New methods needed to boost success of Classical Biological Control to fight insect pests

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  • June 22, 2021
  • The success of Classical Biological Control in the Western Paleartic ecozone is rarely dependent on the released biological control agent, but more often on other factors, such as the target pest, its host plant, or the circumstances of the releases A CABI-led study has revealed that the success of Classical Biological Control (CBC) in Europe, […]

    Recruiting participants to the first European Red list of insect taxonomists

  • Iva Kostadinova
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  • May 20, 2021
  • Contributors will enable the EU to take action to plug in the essential scientific knowledge to address insect declines The ‘Red List of Taxonomists’ initiative, funded by the European Union, launches its registration portal, where professionals and citizen scientists are called to register on. The purpose is to build a database of European taxonomy experts […]

    Dating in a jungle: Female praying mantises jut out weird pheromone gland to attract mates

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  • April 22, 2021
  • Scientists from the Ruhr-University and the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology discovered that females of a South American species protrude a Y-shaped organ on their backs to release pheromones and attract males. Found in none of the over 2,500 species of praying mantises worldwide, the behaviour is reported for the first time in the peer-reviewed scientific Journal of Orthoptera Research.

    ‘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 […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

    A Bed & Breakfast in L.A. reveals the lifestyle of a secretive fly species

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  • August 29, 2017
  • For nearly 30 years, Dr. Brian Brown knew about a mysterious unidentified phorid fly species, whose females would often be spotted flying above mushrooms, while the males were nowhere to be found. Little did anyone know that this years-long puzzle would be solved once and for all after a surprising call came in earlier this […]