Species Discovery

12 favorite sea slugs of the man who’s discovered more than 1000 of them

12 favorite sea slugs of the man who’s discovered more than 1000 of them

Invertebrates, New Species, Species Discovery July 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

“You can’t just accept discovering science as ‘enough,’ says California Academy of Sciences Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology Terry Gosliner. “We have an obligation to explain its relevance. We need to find more ways to transfer scientific findings to the public so that we can positively impact public policy and conservation management – especially now, when the natural world is changing so rapidly.”

Scientist on honeymoon discovers first amphibious centipede

Scientist on honeymoon discovers first amphibious centipede

Myriapods, New Species, Species Discovery June 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

Entomologist George Beccaloni of the Natural History Museum in London first discovered the large, venemous centipede when he was on his honeymoon in Thailand. He was looking under rocks near a waterfall and was able to capture a specimen of this large creature.  When in the water, S. cataracta swam like an eel, with its many legs moving in a wave-like motion in order to propel the creature forward, which surely helps during hunting.

Three new species of chameleons, from Central Africa

Three new species of chameleons, from Central Africa

New Species, Reptiles, Species Discovery June 22, 2017 at 11:16 am

A team of herpetologists, led by Dr. Eli Greenbaum, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, has discovered three new species of chameleons. The reptile trio, historically thought to be a single species, was found in different parts of the Albertine Rift in Central Africa.  The specimens were collected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2009 and 2014.  There are 206 described species of chameleons. “As chronicled the forthcoming book by the paper’s author, in Eli Greenbaum, Ph.D, “Emerald Labyrinth: A Scientist’s Adventures in the Jungles of the Congo,” the coming years will almost certainlyRead More

New Species of Fijian Iguana

New Species of Fijian Iguana

New Species, Reptiles, Species Discovery June 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm

The new species of lizard, Brachylophus gau, is one of only four living species of South Pacific iguana, and is restricted to the island of Gau, Republic of Fiji.   The first known recording of iguanas on Gau Island dates back to an expedition in the mid-19th century. In 1854, the survey ship HMS Herald carried Scottish naturalist John MacGillivray to the Fiji islands, where he chronicled his encounters with native wildlife in his journal.  MacGillivray’s journal entries were used with live observations and museum specimens to confirm and describe the new species. The discovery of the new species of lizard —Read More

DNA barcode analysis reveals a new species of butterfly, the first in Israel in 109 years.

DNA barcode analysis reveals a new species of butterfly, the first in Israel in 109 years.

Insects, New Species, Species Discovery May 8, 2017 at 9:20 am

This new species is named Acentria’s fritillary (Melitaea acentria) and was found flying right over the slopes of the popular Mount Hermon ski resort in northern Israel.  The species may be one of a handful of butterflies known to have arisen through hybridisation between two other species.

A new genus of clingfish found in a 40+ year old specimen jar

A new genus of clingfish found in a 40+ year old specimen jar

Fish, New Species, Species Discovery April 24, 2017 at 11:48 am

Scientists at the University of Washington, Texas A&M University and the Western Australian Museum discovered the new genus and species of clingfish after stumbling upon a specimen preserved in a jar dating back to the 1970s, of the Western Australian Museum in Welshpool, Australia. The teensy translucent fish is just a few inches long, but it sports between 1,800 and 2,300 teeth in its duckbill-like mouth. The new species was trawled from sponge and algae reefs between 30–40 meters in depth offshore from Fremantle, Western Australia.  

Started as a hobby, photographer has documented the discovery of 56 new species

Started as a hobby, photographer has documented the discovery of 56 new species

For Robert Whyte, snapping a photo of an unusual spider has eventually led him to his dream job.

Two New Jawfishes and a New Genus Described From Deepwater Caribbean Reefs

Two New Jawfishes and a New Genus Described From Deepwater Caribbean Reefs

Fish, New Species, Species Discovery April 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Both new species were found in mesophotic reefs in the Caribbean.  Two specimens of the Pygmy Jawfish, a new species and genus,  were found 250m deep off Cuzumel.  It is only inch in length.  It is described as a new genus.   Despite occurring beyond the reach of most divers and collectors, the Curaçao Jawfish was already been made available to aquarists, collected by the Curaçao-based submersible Curasub.    

Dive into the twilight zone off Easter Island reveals new species

Dive into the twilight zone off Easter Island reveals new species

Fish, Invertebrates, New Species, Species Discovery April 6, 2017 at 10:48 am

A diving expedition off Easter Island, 60–150 meters beneath the surface (the “twilight zone”), reveal new species of fish and invertebrates.  In collaboration with SUBELAB Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, a scientific team from the California Academy of Sciences became the first divers to study mesophotic ecosystems off Rapa Nui.  An orange colored sea biscuit, and four fish collected are almost certainly new species.  California Academy of Sciences Ichthyology Curator Luis Rocha plans to give the fish all Rapa Nui names in honor of the local culture. Sea biscuit from Rapa Nui, 80-meters depth. Photograph: Rich Mooi/California Academy of Sciences  Read More

A large colorful species of sardine, discovered in west India fish markets.

A large colorful species of sardine, discovered in west India fish markets.

Fish, New Species, Species Discovery April 6, 2017 at 10:33 am

The new species, Amblygaster indiana sp. nov., is described from 12 specimens collected from fish landing centers and fish markets at Eraviputhenthurai, west coast of India.

New species of worm-snail shoots a web like Spiderman

New species of worm-snail shoots a web like Spiderman

Invertebrates, New Species, Species Discovery April 5, 2017 at 11:22 am

Scientists have discovered a new species of a marine creature called a worm-snail (scientifically known as a vermetid) that shoots out a substance much like a web from our popular comic-book superhero.  It is believed to be foreign to the waters off the Florida Keys, where it was found on an artifical reef.shoots web like spider-man.

New ginger species from the Democratic Republic of Congo

New ginger species from the Democratic Republic of Congo

New Species, Plants, Species Discovery March 30, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Scientists from WCS have discovered a new species of wild ginger, spicing up a wave of recent wildlife discoveries in the Kabobo Massif – a rugged, mountainous region in Democratic Republic of Congo.  This discovery adds to the growing list of 50-odd known species of ginger found throughout Africa including Madagascar. “The rugged massif comprises of a chain of largely-unexplored mountains lying along the western shore of Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest freshwater lake bordering the DRC, Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia. Decades of civil unrest in the region had restricted scientific exploration until recently.  Now, researchers are undertaking expeditions that areRead More

UT El Paso Researcher Devotes Decades to Ants, Discovers 134 New Species

UT El Paso Researcher Devotes Decades to Ants, Discovers 134 New Species

Insects, Species Discovery March 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm

William Mackay, Ph.D., biological sciences professor and curator of insects at UTEP has been studying the tiny creatures for more than 50 years. William Mackay, Ph.D. takes a closer look at one of his larger ant specimens in UTEP’s Biodiversity Collection. Photo by: Laura Trejo/UTEP Communications

Hitchhiking beetle discovered under an ant

Hitchhiking beetle discovered under an ant

Insects, New Species, Species Discovery February 10, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Scientists first noticed the ant because it looked like it had two abdomens.  But it was actually two species.

The Hermit Crab Caterpillar

The Hermit Crab Caterpillar

Citizen Science, Insects, New Species, Species Discovery January 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm

A caterpillar that was recently discovered in Peru exhibits a behavior previously unknown in caterpillars.  The critter was spotted by Dr. Joe Hanson, the creator and host of the YouTube channel “It’s OK to be Smart.” Hanson, along with entomologist Aaron Pomerantz and guide Pedro Lima, were filming in the Peruvian Amazon when they came across the creature. The caterpillar turned into a Cicinnus moth. Is this also a caterpillar carrying its own house?

With students’ help a tiny parasitic crab is discovered

With students’ help a tiny parasitic crab is discovered

Citizen Science, Crustaceans, New Species, Species Discovery January 24, 2017 at 5:31 pm

During a 2014 Solomon Islands expedition, students studying biodiversity placed a biocube on a portion of the reef off of Njari Island that contained a large chunk of dead coral. “The students extracted the cube, brought it back to the boat and took it apart,” explains Chris Meyer, Natural History Museum mollusk expert and a principal researcher with Biocube.

First live images of the ruby seadragon

First live images of the ruby seadragon

First Video, Fish, New Species, Species Discovery January 24, 2017 at 2:44 pm

In 2015, a new, third species of seadragon from Australia was described, based on museum specimens, the ruby seadragon.  Using a small remotely operated vehicle (miniROV) in deep water at the Recherche Archipelago in Western Austalia, researchers have now obtained the first images of live ruby seadragons, and made observations on the seadragon habitat and behavior, including feeding.  See 2015 report.

What was thought to be a singing snake is really a tree frog.

What was thought to be a singing snake is really a tree frog.

Amphibians, New Species, Species Discovery November 21, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Calls of the newly discovered tree frog species Tepuihyla shushupe have long been mistaken for the “songs” of a bushmaster viper.

New species of parasitic orchid discovered in Japan

New species of parasitic orchid discovered in Japan

Citizen Science, New Species, Plants, Species Discovery November 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Some plant species have abandoned photosynthesis, instead feeding off the roots of host fungi such as mushrooms and mould. These plants are called mycoheterotrophs. A Japanese photographer has discovered a new mycoheterotoph in the lowland laurel forests of Yakushima and named it Lecanorchis tabugawaensis.  Approximately 50 mycoheterotrophs species have been reported in Japan.

How Newly Discovered Species Get Their Weird Names

How Newly Discovered Species Get Their Weird Names

Celebrity Taxa, New Species, Species Discovery October 20, 2016 at 9:16 am

Whatever you do, don’t name your new species after yourself. That’s tacky.