Insects

New beetle to honor Canada

New beetle to honor Canada

Insects, New Species May 10, 2017 at 7:45 am

A new insect discovered in New Brunswick has been given a special name to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Apimela canadensis is a small rove beetle, about 2–4 mm in length, that lives in sand and gravel along the shores of rivers and streams.

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.

New ‘silky’ ant species that grows its own gardens of fungus named for Radiohead

New ‘silky’ ant species that grows its own gardens of fungus named for Radiohead

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species May 8, 2017 at 9:06 am

One of three new species of fungus-farming ants, Sericomyrmex radioheadi, collected in the Venezuelan Amazon, was named after the famous British music band Radiohead.  “We wanted to honor their music” one of the authors, Ana Ješovnik, says. “But more importantly, we wanted to acknowledge the conservation efforts of the band members, especially in raising climate-change awareness.  Using a scanning electron microscope, the authors found that the body of the new fungus-farming ants are covered with a white, crystal-like layer. Both the chemical composition and the function of this layer are unclear, though it is suspected that the layer is microbial in originRead 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

A new plasterer bee, one of many more bees to be identified in Chile

A new plasterer bee, one of many more bees to be identified in Chile

Insects, New Species February 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm

New species realized after DNA analysis of Chilean plasterer bees.  There ar over 2000 bee species in this family, and many more to discover through DNA barcoding analyses.  

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.

New species of stonefly from Virginia

New species of stonefly from Virginia

Insects, New Species February 3, 2017 at 9:04 pm

A study by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services biologists of three endemic stonefly species in Virginia revealed two new species.

A new firefly from near Rio

A new firefly from near Rio

Insects, New Species February 1, 2017 at 9:14 am

A new genus of firefly is described, from the rainforests of Brazil. “Fireflies or sometimes named lightning bugs are not flies. They represent a family of beetles (Lampyridae) whose members have the ability to use bioluminescence during twilight to attract mates or prey. They produce a “cold light”, with no infrared or ultraviolet frequencies. This chemically produced light from the lower abdomen may be yellow, green, or pale red. So far about 2000 firefly species have been found and described.”

A new skipper from south China

A new skipper from south China

Insects, New Species January 31, 2017 at 10:52 am

The new species resembles, and is named for O. maga which is widely distributed in S. China and Taiwan.

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?

Creepy crypt-keeper wasp

Creepy crypt-keeper wasp

Insects, New Species January 25, 2017 at 11:23 am

The wasp deposits an egg in the developing gall wasp.  The young eventually chews its way to freedom – through its host’s head.

New Wasp Species Discovered Parasitizing Pests of Pine Trees

New Wasp Species Discovered Parasitizing Pests of Pine Trees

Insects, New Species January 25, 2017 at 12:29 am

A new parasitoid wasp species has been discovered in China. The new species is known to parasitize larvae of two species of Dioryctria, which are serious pests of pine trees, and was found during a survey looking for natural enemies of Dioryctria pryeri and D. abietella.  This finding is important because the new species could potentially be used as a biological control agent.

Beautiful new moths from China

Beautiful new moths from China

Insects, New Species January 24, 2017 at 3:54 pm

A group of beautiful snout moths from China was revised by three scientists from the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

A tiny moth with a blonde comb over, named for President Donald J Trump

A tiny moth with a blonde comb over, named for President Donald J Trump

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species January 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Vazrick Nazari, an entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, discovered a species of twirler moth with bright yellow scales that sit like a cap atop the insect’s tiny head.   Dr. Nazari has dubbed the species Neopalpa donaldtrumpi.  The reason for this choice of name is to bring wider public attention to the need to continue protecting fragile habitats in the US that still contain many undescribed species.

Pink katydids that mimic leafs

Pink katydids that mimic leafs

Insects, New Species January 9, 2017 at 9:52 am

The leaf-like katydids, native to northern Borneo, sport dramatically different color differences between sexes.  The males are uniformly green and females pink. All species of the genus known up until now occur in forested areas in Sabah, Borneo.

Nine new ‘ant-like’ bee species found in Utah

Nine new ‘ant-like’ bee species found in Utah

Insects, New Species December 28, 2016 at 8:46 pm

A team of Utah State University researchers has found nine new species of bees that are found only in the Western United States, including Utah.

Species of Gall Midge from Great Smoky Mountains National Park is first of its genus in New World

Species of Gall Midge from Great Smoky Mountains National Park is first of its genus in New World

Insects, New Species November 2, 2016 at 10:20 am

A new article by Michael Ferro and John Plakidas describes a new species of fly that was collected in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Neostenoptera appalachiensis is a gall midge, and it is the first record of the genus Neostenoptera in the New World.

Another New Sand Fly Species Could be a Vector of Leishmaniasis

Another New Sand Fly Species Could be a Vector of Leishmaniasis

Insects, New Species November 2, 2016 at 9:39 am

A new species of sand fly, dubbed Psathyromyia elizabethdorvalae, has been discovered in Brazil and could be a potential vector of leishmaniasis, a disease spread by sand flies that can result in skin sores and damage to internal organs.  

New species of dragonfly found near urban water supply

New species of dragonfly found near urban water supply

Insects, New Species November 1, 2016 at 4:47 pm

A new species of dragonfly was found in an urban area, in a habitat from which city water is sourced.  It has a brown spot on each of its four wingtips and a bluish waxy body coating. Photo: Rhainer Guillermo Ferreira

New dragnfly from southwestern Brazil

New dragnfly from southwestern Brazil

Insects, New Species September 23, 2016 at 10:03 am

Dragonfly in the genus Erythrodiplax from southwestern Brazil is described, first observed in 2011.