Mosquito populations give a new insight into the role of Caucasus in evolution

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  • August 6, 2018
  • We know that the Caucasus is a relatively large mountainous region, situated between Black and the Caspian seas. In its turn, it is divided into three subregions: Ciscaucasia, Greater Caucasus and Transcaucasia, also known as South Caucasus. A closer look into the chromosome structure of mosquito larvae of a curious group of species (Chironomus “annularius” sensu Strenzke (1959)), […]

    How many sharks, chimaeras, skates, and rays inhabit Mexico?

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  • July 12, 2018
  • Worldwide, Mexico is well-known for a lot of things: its cuisine, tequila, mariachis, pyramids, and beaches, as well as being the country with the most Spanish-speaking residents (more than 120 million people). In contrast, however, little is known for the country’s chondrichthyan fauna: a class of fishes containing the sharks, chimaeras, rays, and skates. To […]

    Described 28 years post-collection, new grass species makes a strong case for conservation

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  • July 6, 2018
  • Originally collected 28 years ago in Ecuador, new species Poa laegaardiana has been just described, only to find out its prospects for surviving in its type location seem bleak nowadays. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys. When roaming in the Cordillera de los Andes of Ecuador, near the village of Facundo Vela, little did Smithsonian scientist and author, […]

    Out of the darkness: A new spider found deep within an Indiana cave

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  • June 28, 2018
  • Spiders are ubiquitous within our forests, fields, and backyards. Although you may be used to seeing the beautiful yellow and black spiders of the genus Argiope in your garden, large ground-scurrying wolf spiders in your yard, or spindly cellar spiders in your basement, this new sheet-web-building spider is probably one you haven’t seen before. The […]

    First-ever fern checklist for Togo to help decision makers in the face of threats to biodiversity

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  • June 22, 2018
  • Ferns and their allied species, which together comprise the pteridophytes, are vascular non-flowering plants that reproduce via spores. Many of their species are admired for their aesthetics. However, despite being excellent bioindicators that allow for scientists and decision-makers to monitor the state of ecosystems in the face of climate change and global biodiversity crisis, these […]

    Six new species of goblin spiders named after famous goblins and brownies

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  • June 21, 2018
  •   Fictional characters originally ‘described’ by famous English children’s writer Enid Blyton have given their names to six new species of minute goblin spiders discovered in the diminishing forests of Sri Lanka. The goblins Bom, Snooky and Tumpy and the brownies Chippy, Snippy and Tiggy made their way from the pages of: “The Goblins Looking-Glass” […]

    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, […]

    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 […]

    In a hole in a tunicate there lived a hobbit: New shrimp species named after Bilbo Baggins

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  • June 7, 2018
  • Two new species of tiny symbiotic shrimps are described, illustrated and named by biology student at Leiden University Werner de Gier as part of his bachelor’s research project, supervised by Dr. Charles H. J. M. Fransen, shrimp researcher of Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, the Netherlands). Inspired by the extremely hairy feet of one of the species, the authors […]

    What is a species? British bird expert develops a math formula to solve the problem

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  • May 10, 2018
  • Nature is replete with examples of identifiable populations known from different continents, mountain ranges, islands or lowland regions. While, traditionally, many of these have been treated as subspecies of widely-ranging species, recent studies relying on molecular biology have shown that many former “subspecies” have in fact been isolated for millions of years, which is long […]