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.

    Dwarfs under dinosaur legs: 99-million-year-old millipede discovered in Burmese amber

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  • May 2, 2019
  • A 3D reconstruction of the fossil allowed for the description of an entirely new suborder Even though we are led to believe that during the Cretaceous the Earth used to be an exclusive home for fearsome giants, including carnivorous velociraptors and arthropods larger than a modern adult human, it turns out that there was still […]

    WoRMS’ Top 10 Marine Species (2018): ZooKeys journal scores 5/10 in the prestigious yearly list

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  • March 19, 2019
  • The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) announced the Top 10 Marine Species of 2018 just in time for Taxonomist Appreciation Day What could be better timing to take a look back on the most spectacular animals described as new to science throughout 2018 than 19th March, Taxonomist Appreciation Day? For the sixth time around, […]

    As uniform as cloned soldiers, new spiders were named after the Stormtroopers in Star Wars

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  • March 14, 2019
  • The new species are amongst the very first bald-legged spiders recorded in Colombia Despite being widely distributed across north and central South America, bald-legged spiders had never been confirmed in Colombia until the recent study by the team of Drs Carlos Perafan and Fernando Perez-Miles (Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay) and William Galvis (Universidad Nacional […]

    New species of stiletto snake capable of sideways strikes discovered in West Africa

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  • March 11, 2019
  • Following a series of recent surveys in north-western Liberia and south-eastern Guinea, an international team of researchers found three stiletto snakes which were later identified as a species previously unknown to science. The discovery, published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution by the team of Dr Mark-Oliver Roedel from the Natural History Museum, Berlin, provides further evidence for the […]

    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 […]

    Newly discovered turtle species is facing extinction

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  • February 13, 2019
  • For decades, it has been assumed that the Chinese Softshell Turtles from East Asia all belonged to one and the same species, Pelodiscus sinensis. Widely distributed all the way from the Russian Far East through the Korean Peninsula to China and Vietnam, the species was said to vary substantially in terms of its looks across localities. […]

    New puddle frog species leaps into the spotlight from an unexplored mountain, Ethiopia

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  • A new species of puddle frog has just been discovered by NYU Abu Dhabi researchers at the unexplored and isolated Bibita Mountain in southwestern Ethiopia. The research team named the new species Phrynobatrachus bibita sp. nov., or Bibita Mountain dwarf puddle frog, inspired by its home. In summer 2018, NYU Abu Dhabi Postdoctoral Associates Sandra […]

    New tarantula species from Angola distinct with a one-of-a-kind ‘horn’ on its back

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  • February 12, 2019
  • A new to science species of tarantula with a peculiar horn-like protuberance sticking out of its back was recently identified from Angola, a largely underexplored country located at the intersection of several Afrotropical ecoregions. Collected as part of the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, which aims to uncover the undersampled biodiversity in the entire Okavango […]

    Ice Age survivors or stranded travellers? A new subterranean species discovered in Canada

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  • February 5, 2019
  • The discovery of a new to science species of rare and primitive arthropod from the depths of a cave that was covered by a thick ice sheet until recently is certain to raise questions. In their study, published in the open-access journal Subterranean Biology, entomologist Alberto Sendra and local caver Craig Wagnell describe a new species of cave-dwelling, […]