First tarantula to live in bamboo stalks found in Thailand

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  • January 14, 2022
  • A new genus of tarantula was discovered inside a bamboo culm from Mae Tho, Tak province, in Thailand. This is the first genus of tarantula that shows the surprising specialization of living in bamboo stalks. The bamboo culm tarantula Taksinus bambus was found in Thailand by JoCho Sippawat, a wildlife YouTuber from Thailand, who collaborated with arachnologists Dr. Narin Chomphuphuang and Mr. Chaowalit Songsangchote. The new genus and species are described in the journal ZooKeys.

    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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    Guest blog post: Operation desert: crab and dwarf spider discovered on sand dunes in military area, Slovakia

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  • November 29, 2021
  • Guest blog post by Pavol Purgat For the first time in Slovakia, the dwarf spider Walckenaeria stylifrons and crab spider Spiracme mongolica were discovered on sand dunes in Záhorie Protected Landscape Area, on  localities that serve as a military complex, used by the native Slovak army. Moreover, the spider W. stylifrons was found in a […]

    On the amazing discovery of a new species and how to choose names for spiders

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  • August 13, 2021
  • Guest blog post by Alireza Zamani As someone who enjoys taking regular long walks, listening to podcasts has always been an irreplaceable source of pleasure for me. As an arachnologist and taxonomist, I had been hoping for years that someone would start a podcast dedicated to taxonomy and the discovery of new species. Thankfully, earlier […]

    Trapdoor spiders named after Neil Gaiman, Peter Gabriel and Brandi Carlile among 33 new to science species

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  • July 7, 2021
  • New species named after famous novelist Neil Gaiman, musician and human rights activist Peter Gabriel and singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile are among thirty-three new trapdoor spiders described from across North and South America. Following the discovery, published in the openly accessible, peer-reviewed scholarly journal ZooKeys, the known species in the genus Ummidia increased more than twice.

    Guest blog post: New ectoparasite records from Honduras came from bats recorded since 2015

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  • March 23, 2021
  • Guest blog post by Manfredo Alejandro Turcios-Casco Since its foundation in 2015, the research team “The Big Bat Theory” has filled important information gaps regarding bats and their ectoparasites in Honduras. We started as just bachelor students mist-netting bats in our university (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras- UNAH) in our free time. Then we studied […]

    Two species and a single name: ‘Double identity’ revealed in a venomous banana spider

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  • March 9, 2021
  • Spiders from the genus Phoneutria – also known as banana spiders – are considered aggressive and among the most venomous spiders in the world, with venom that has a neurotoxic action. These large nocturnal spiders usually inhabit environments disturbed by humans and are often found in banana plantations in the Neotropical region.  One of these […]

    French mathematician and spider aficionado Cédric Villani honoured with a new orb-weaver

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  • February 4, 2020
  • Considered as one of the best studied spiders, the orb-weavers remain poorly known in the central parts of the Palearctic ecozone. Hence, an international research team took to the Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia. Their article in the open-access peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys documents three new-to- science species, where one is named after the Indo-Iranian god of light Mithra. Another carries the name of the flamboyant French mathematician and spider aficionado Cédric Villani.

    Trendy on eight legs: Jumping spider named after fashion czar Karl Lagerfeld

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  • July 2, 2019
  • New to science species of Australian jumping spider was named after Hamburg-born fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019) after the arachnid reminded its discoverers of the designer. Intrigued by its distinct ‘downplayed’ black-and-white colours, the Hamburg-Brisbane-Melbourne team likened the spider’s appearance to Lagerfeld’s trademark style: his white hair and Kent collar that contrasted with the black […]

    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 […]