Snake photo posted on Instagram leads to the discovery of a new species from the Himalayas

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  • December 1, 2021
  • An image on Instagram prompted the discovery of a new species of Kukri snake from Himachal Pradesh, India. Intrigued by a post shared by a master student, the research team found and examined more specimens to discover they belonged to a yet undescribed species. Their study, published in the open-access journal Evolutionary Systematics, highlights how little we still know about the biodiversity in the Western Himalayas.

    A star in subtropical Japan: a new species of parasitoid wasp constructs unique cocoon masses hanging on 1-meter-long strings

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  • November 30, 2021
  • A new species of parasitoid wasp that constructs remarkable star-shaped cocoon masses is reported from the biodiversity hot spot Ryukyu Islands. Japanese researchers observed how the wasps construct “stars” after making their way out of the moth larvae they inhabit during their own larval stage. In their study, published in the open-access journal Journal of Hymenoptera Research, the team discuss the ecological significance of the cocoon mass and the evolution of this peculiar structure.

    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 […]

    First moth species on Alpenrose discovered

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  • November 25, 2021
  • Discovery of the first moth species to mine the leaves of the highly poisonous Alpine rose An Austrian-Swiss research team was able to find a previously unknown glacial relic in the Alps, the Alpine rose leaf-miner moth. It is the first known species to have its caterpillars specializing on the rust-red alpine rose, a very […]

    Learning more about vampire fish: first report of candiru attached to an Amazonian thorny catfish

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  • September 10, 2021
  • For the first time, scientists report a vampire fish attached to the body of an Amazonian thorny catfish. Very unusually, the candirus were attached close to the lateral bone plates, rather than the gills, where they are normally found. Since the hosts were not badly harmed, and the candirus apparently derived no food benefit, scientists believe this association is commensalistic rather than parasitic. The research is published in the open-access journal Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria.

    Dating in a jungle: Female praying mantises jut out weird pheromone gland to attract mates

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  • April 22, 2021
  • Scientists from the Ruhr-University and the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology discovered that females of a South American species protrude a Y-shaped organ on their backs to release pheromones and attract males. Found in none of the over 2,500 species of praying mantises worldwide, the behaviour is reported for the first time in the peer-reviewed scientific Journal of Orthoptera Research.

    Senckenberg Nature Research Society transfers three journals to ARPHA Platform

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  • April 8, 2021
  • Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny, Vertebrate Zoology and Geologica Saxonica are the latest historic titles to select the various services and advanced technology provided by the OA-born scholarly publishing platform One of the largest natural research associations in Germany, the Senckenberg Nature Research Society moved three of its international, open-access scholarly journals to the publishing platform ARPHA, following a […]

    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 […]

    Why we shouldn’t blame women for gender disparity in science: Perspectives of women in zoology

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  • March 25, 2021
  • A Brazilian network of female zoologists aims to oppose gender disparity in science Guest blog post by Veronica Slobodian Scientists are part of a rather sexist society and, therefore, ruled by a rather sexist social conduct. Nevertheless, women scientists attempt to thrive despite all setbacks provided by structural sexism (both explicit and implicit).  Sadly, female […]

    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 […]