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

  • Pensoft Editorial Team
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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

  • Pensoft Editorial Team
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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

  • Pensoft Editorial Team
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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

  • Pensoft Editorial Team
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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

  • Pensoft Editorial Team
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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

  • Pensoft Editorial Team
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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 […]

    The ‘Star dust’ wasp is a new extinct species named after David Bowie’s alter ego

  • Pensoft Editorial Team
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  • June 22, 2017
  • During her study on fossil insects of the order Hymenoptera at China’s Capitol Normal University, student Longfeng Li visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, carrying two unidentified wasp specimens that were exceptionally well-preserved in Burmese amber. This type of fossilized tree resin is known for the quality of the fossil specimens which […]

    The Radiohead ant: A new species of ‘silky’ ant grows fungus gardens for food

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  • April 24, 2017
  • The ants of the genus Sericomyrmex – literally translated as ‘silky ants’ – belong to the fungus-farming ants, a group of ants that have figured out how to farm their own food. The silky ants are the less well-known relatives of the famous leaf-cutter ants – well-studied, photogenic model organisms that you simply cannot avoid […]

    Of Star Trek, Mark Twain and helmets: 15 new species of wasps with curious names

  • Pensoft Editorial Team
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  • March 27, 2017
  • A total of fifteen new species of parasitic wasps have been described from across the Neotropical region. Apart from belonging to a peculiar group of wasps distinct with large and elongated bodies, the new insects also draw attention with the curious names they have been formally assigned with. Among them, there are species named after […]