Tiny moth from Asia spreading fast on Siberian elms in eastern North America

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  • September 17, 2018
  • In 2010, moth collector James Vargo began finding numerous specimens of a hitherto unknown pygmy moth in his light traps on his property in Indiana, USA. When handed to Erik van Nieukerken, researcher at Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, the Netherlands) and specialist in pygmy moths (family Nepticulidae), the scientist failed to identify it as a previously known […]

    Museum collection reveals distribution of Carolina parakeet 100 years after its extinction

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  • June 19, 2018
  • While 2018 marks the centenary of the death of the last captive Carolina parakeet – North America’s only native parrot, a team of researchers have shed new light on the previously known geographical range of the species, which was officially declared extinct in 1920. Combining observations and specimen data, the new Carolina parakeet occurrence dataset, […]

    How did coyotes conquer North America?

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  • May 23, 2018
  • Coyotes now live across North America, from Alaska to Panama, California to Maine. But where they came from, and when, has been debated for decades. Using museum specimens and fossil records, researchers from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina State University have produced a comprehensive (and unprecedented) range history of the […]

    Canadian scientist names a new species of cuckoo bee after Sir David Attenborough

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  • May 8, 2018
  • A total of fifteen new species of bees, where one honors the English broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, are described by Thomas Onuferko, PhD candidate at York University in Toronto, Canada. His paper is published in the open access journal ZooKeys. The new species, called Attenborough’s epeolus (pronounced ee-pee-oh-lus), is rare and known from […]

    A new hope: One of North America’s rarest bees has its known range greatly expanded

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  • April 16, 2018
  • The Macropis Cuckoo Bee is one of the rarest bees in North America, partly because of its specialized ecological associations. It is a nest parasite of oil-collecting bees of the genus Macropis which, in turn, are dependent on oil-producing flowers of the genus Lysimachia. In fact, the cuckoo bee – which much like its feather-bearing counterpart does not build a […]

    Ottawa confirmed as the biodiversity hotspot for a subfamily of wasps in North America

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  • November 21, 2016
  • What usually comes to mind when speaking about biodiversity hotspots are tropical regions, pristine areas and magnificent forests. Meanwhile, it is quite rare that a city in a temperate zone is considered significant in terms of biodiversity, much less mentioned as a hotspot. Yet, the city of Ottawa together with its surroundings, despite having population […]

    Flying jewels spell death for tarantulas: Study of a North American spider fly genus

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  • October 5, 2016
  • Spider flies are usually a rarely encountered group of insects, except in Western North America, where the North American jewelled spider flies (the Eulonchus genus) can be locally abundant in mountainous areas such as the Sierra Nevada of California. The brilliantly coloured adults (also known as ‘sapphires’ and ’emeralds’) are important pollinators of flowers. The […]

    Scientist collects 30 sawfly species not previously reported from Arkansas

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  • May 16, 2016
  • Sawflies and wood wasps form a group of insects that feed mainly on plants when immature. Field work by Dr. Michael Skvarla, which was conducted during his Ph.D. research at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA, has uncovered 30 species of these plant-feeding wasps that were previously unknown in the state. The study is published it […]