Behind Green Eyes: New species of deep-water hermit crab finds itself unusual shelters

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  • July 12, 2017
  • ‘Green-eyed hermit crab’ is the common name for a new species recently discovered off the West Coast of South Africa. Apart from its magnetic stare, however, there is a number of characteristic morphological traits and an unusual home preference that all make the crustacean unique. Formally named after the University of Cape Town (UCT) alumnus Dr Lara […]

    Invasive alien plant control assessed for the Kruger National Park in South Africa

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  • June 6, 2017
  • Along with urban and agricultural encroachment and pollution mitigation, managing invasive alien species is a key intervention needed to protect biodiversity. Unfortunately, on a global scale there are not enough funds to meet the requirements for effective conservation everywhere, which means that scarce funds need to be allocated where they can be used most efficiently. […]

    Conservation and nameless earthworms: Assessors in the dark?

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  • May 22, 2017
  • Species that live exclusively in a single region are at a particular risk of extinction. However, for them to be protected, thorough assessments of the environmental impacts need to be performed. There are more than 100 earthworm species living in the soil and dead wood of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Most of them live exclusively […]

    Assassins on the rise: A new species and a new tribe of endemic South African robber flies

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  • December 6, 2016
  • Discovery of a new species of assassin flies led to the redescription of its genus. This group of curious predatory flies live exclusively in South Africa, preferring relatively dry habitats. Following the revisit, authors Drs Jason Londt, KwaZulu-Natal Museum, South Africa, and Torsten Dikow, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, USA, publish updated information […]

    More than just hippos and crocs: The hidden biodiversity of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

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  • June 6, 2016
  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the sub-tropical north-eastern corner of South Africa has become famous for its birdlife, crocodiles and hippopotamuses that frolic in the warm estuarine waters of Lake St Lucia. However, there’s more to the park than the “big and hairy”, according to aquatic ecologist Prof Renzo Perissinotto at […]

    Hollywood star Brad Pitt shares a name with a new wasp species from South Africa

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  • May 5, 2016
  • Not only did an international research team discover two new endoparasitic wasp species in South Africa and India, and significantly expanded their genera’s distributional range, but they also gave a celebrity name to a special one of them. While thinking of a name for the new wasp, Dr Buntika A. Butcher, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, recalled […]

    South African endemic mountain plant gives itself up after 147-year absence

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  • April 20, 2016
  • South Africa’s mountains are essential to the economic well-being of the country, providing many goods and services essential for social and economic prosperity. However, the biodiversity value of these mountains is still poorly understood. This is exemplified by the large number of plant species still only known from one or two collections made well over […]