Tiny thorn snail discovered in Panama’s backyard

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  • November 6, 2018
  • Discoveries of biodiversity at the Lilliputian scale are more tedious than it is for larger animals like elephants, for example. Furthermore, an analysis producing a DNA barcode – a taxonomic method using a short snippet of an organism’s DNA – is not enough to adequately identify it to the species level. In the case of […]

    Heat-loving Australian ants believe in diversity, hint 74 species new to science

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  • September 21, 2017
  • The ‘furnace ants’ or ‘honeypot ants’ present a very large genus of ants, Melophorus, confined to Australia. Long believed to be megadiverse, some scientists have even suggested that the group may contain ‘well over 1000 species’. However, to this point, only 32 species and subspecies had been described. Scientists Dr Brian Heterick of Curtin University, Dr Mark Castalanelli of Ecodiagnostics Pty […]

    Origins of an enigmatic genus of Asian butterflies carrying mythological names decoded

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  • April 18, 2017
  • A group of rare Asian butterflies which have once inspired an association with Hindu mythological creatures have been quite a chaos for the experts. In fact, their systematics turned out so confusing that in order to decode their taxonomic placement, scientists had to dig up their roots some 43 million years back. Now, having shed […]

    A colorful yet little known snout moth genus from China with 5 new species

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  • January 5, 2017
  • A group of beautiful snout moths from China was revised by three scientists from the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In their study, recently published in the open access journal Zookeys, entomologists Dr. Mingqiang Wang, Dr. Fuqiang Chen and Prof. Chunsheng Wu describe five new species and two newly recorded for […]

    Efficiency of insect biodiversity monitoring via Malaise trap samples and DNA barcoding

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  • December 5, 2016
  • The massive decline of over 75% insect biomass reported from Germany between 1989 and 2013 by expert citizen scientists proves the urgent need for new methods and standards for fast and wide-scale biodiversity assessments. If we cannot understand species composition, as well as their diversity patterns and reasons behind them, we will fail not only […]

    Moth genitalia is the key to snout grass borers from the Western Hemisphere

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  • March 1, 2016
  • Two scientists have produced an illustrated key to define the subtle differences between the 41 species of snout moth grass borers that currently dwell in the Western Hemisphere. The researchers conclude that the adults moths are too tough to tell apart by external characters, and therefore, the only way to identify the species is by […]

    One new fly species, zero dead bodies: First insect description solely from photographs

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  • October 7, 2015
  • The importance of collecting dead specimens or not when verifying a new species has been a hot ongoing discussion for quite a while now. Amid voiced opinions ranging from specimen collection being “no longer required” to relying on anything but physical evidence being defined as mere “malpractice,” science is now witnessing the first description of […]

    Night calls reveal two new rainforest arboreal frog species from western New Guinea

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  • October 5, 2015
  • Tracked by their calls at night after heavy rains, two species of narrow-mouthed frogs have been recorded as new. During the examinations it turned out that one of the studied specimens is a hermaphrodite and another one represents the first record of the genus Cophixalus for the Misool Island. The field work, conducted by Steve […]

    Bush Blitz: The largest Australian nature discovery project finds 4 new bee species

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  • September 17, 2015
  • Four new native bee species were recognised as part of the largest Australian nature discovery project, called ‘Bush Blitz‘. The South Australian bee specialists used molecular and morphological evidence to prove them as new. Three of the species had narrow heads and long mouth parts – adaptations to foraging on flowers of emu-bushes, which have […]