A year of biodiversity: Top 10 new species of 2021 from Pensoft journals, Part 2

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  • December 30, 2021
  • While 2021 may have been a stressful and, frankly, strange year, in the world of biodiversity there has been plenty to celebrate! Out of the many new species we published in our journals this year, we’ve curated a selection of the 10 most spectacular discoveries. The world hides amazing creatures just waiting to be found […]

    “In contrast to the traditional naming practices that identify individuals as one of two distinct genders, we have chosen a non-Latinized portmanteau honoring the artist Jeremy Ayers and representing people that do not identify with conventional binary gender assignments, Strumigenys ayersthey,” authors Philipp Hoenle of the Technical University of
    Darmstadt
    and Douglas Booher of Yale University state in their paper.

    Strumigenys ayersthey sp. nov. is thus inclusively named in honor of Jeremy Ayers for the multitude of humans among the spectrum of gender who have been unrepresented under traditional naming practices.”

    Curiously, it was no other than lead singer and lyricist of the American alternative rock band R.E.M. Michael Stipe that joined Booher in writing the etymology section for the research article, where they explain the origin of the species name and honor their mutual friend, activist and artist Jeremy Ayers.

    This ant can be distinguished by its predominantly smooth and shining cuticle surface and long trap-jaw mandibles, which make it unique among nearly a thousand species of its genus.

    “Such a beautiful and rare animal was just the species to celebrate both biological and human diversity,” Douglas Booher said.

    Published in: ZooKeys

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    A year of biodiversity: Top 10 new species of 2021 from Pensoft journals, Part 1

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  • December 16, 2021
  • With 2022 round the corner, we thought we’d start off the celebrations by looking back to some the most memorable discoveries of 2021. And what a year it has been! Many new species made their debuts on the pages of Pensoft journals – here’s our selection of the most exciting animals, plants and fungi that we published in 2021.

    Two new pit vipers discovered from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

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  • October 7, 2021
  • Two new species of venomous snakes were just added to Asia’s fauna – the Nujiang pit viper (Gloydius lipipengi) from Zayu, Tibet, and the Glacier pit viper (G. swild) found west of the Nujiang River and Heishui, Sichuan, east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Our team of researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Bangor University published the discovery in the open-access journal ZooKeys. In this study, we performed a new molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Asian pit vipers.

    New deadly snake from Asia named after character from Chinese myth ‘Legend of White Snake’

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  • April 6, 2021
  • In 2001, the famous herpetologist Joseph B. Slowinski died from snakebite by an immature black-and-white banded krait, while leading an expedition team in northern Myanmar. The very krait that caused his death is now confirmed to belong to the same species identified as a new to science venomous snake, following an examination of samples collected […]

    Guest blog post: Unique feeding behaviour of Asian kukri snakes gutting frogs and toads

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  • February 18, 2021
  • Guest blog post by Henrik Bringsøe In September 2020, we reported the first evidence for a newly discovered behaviour in snakes, as we provided extensive photographic documentation, demonstrating a macabre feeding strategy of Asian kukri snakes of the species Oligodon fasciolatus, the Small-banded Kukri Snake: a snake cutting open the abdomen of a toad, inserting […]

    Reptile poaching in Balochistan (Pakistan) is on a decreasing trend but still troublesome

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  • May 14, 2020
  • A view of wooden boxes for transportation of reptiles by illegal collectors.

    Since 2013, following a strict enforcement of provincial wildlife legislation in the less studied regions of Asia, the overall trend of illegal reptile poaching is steadily decreasing. Despite that, the issue is not yet resolved and poached reptiles are largely destined not only for the international pet trade, but also utilised in folk medicines and snake charmer shows, according to a recent study, published in the open-access journal Herpetozoa.

    Welcome to the House of Slytherin: Salazar’s pit viper, a new green pit viper from India

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  • April 21, 2020
  • Trimeresurus salazar sp. nov. paratype female BNHS 3555 in life

    During an expedition to Arunachal Pradesh in India, part of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, a new species of green pit viper Trimeresurus salazar with unique stripes and colouration patterns was discovered near Pakke Tiger Reserve. Scientists named the snake after J.K. Rowling’s fictional character, the Parselmouth wizard and the founder of one of the houses in the magical school Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin. The discovery is published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

    Vibes before it bites: 10 types of defensive behaviour for the False Coral Snake

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  • March 23, 2020
  • Oxyrhopus rhombifer

    The False Coral Snake (Oxyrhopus rhombifer) may be capable of recognising various threat levels and demonstrates ten different defensive behaviours, seven of which are registered for the first time for the species. Scientists from the Federal University of Viçosa (Brazil) published their laboratory observation results based on a juvenile specimen in the open-access journal Neotropical Biology and Conservation.

    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 […]

    Naming rights for 5 new snail-sucking snake species auctioned to save rainforests in Ecuador

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  • June 14, 2018
  • The existence of five delightfully weird snail-sucking snakes slithering through the forest floors of Ecuador was announced by a group of scientists in a study in the open access journal Zookeys. Believe or not, there is an entire group of snakes for which snails are number one on their menu. This is why their jaws […]