Insects

Unprecedented top-to-bottom survey reveals new species in Malaysian rainforest

Unprecedented top-to-bottom survey reveals new species in Malaysian rainforest

This fall, the California Academy of Sciences partnered with The Habitat Penang Hill and colleagues to conduct a top-to-bottom rainforest survey of biodiversity on Malaysia’s island state of Penang,.  Over the course of two weeks the international team of 117 scientists discovered several species previously unknown to science—including a new species of ghost scorpion, living just miles from a major metropolis.   From-the-field updates were broadcast digitally by JASON Learning to classrooms around the world and over 1,400 species observations were logged on the nature-tracking mobile app iNaturalist..    A new-to-science scorpion discovered on Penang Hill.  Photo: Phil Torres/bioGraphic

Citizen science discovery adventure in Borneo yields six new species of beetles

Citizen science discovery adventure in Borneo yields six new species of beetles

Citizen Science, Insects, New Species, Species Discovery December 7, 2017 at 2:47 pm

Taxon Expedition‘s first field course to the remote 30-kilometre-wide Maliau Basin in Malaysian Borneo, yielded six new species of leaf litter beetle.  Citizen scientists on the expedition discovered these species during a field exercise employing the method of ‘Winkler extraction’. Using this technique, dead leaves are collected from the rainforest floor before being sieved, so that hundreds of tiny soil-dwelling insects can be revealed.  The participants of the expedition named each of the new species.  The Taxon Expeditions concept involves ten days of lectures and workshops in a well-equipped field research centre, during which the citizen scientists are trained in basic field and lab.Read More

A new species of Tropical Burnet Moth from Texas

A new species of Tropical Burnet Moth from Texas

Insects, New Species December 5, 2017 at 9:22 am

Tropical Burnet Moths, Lacturidae are small-to-medium sized Moths with wingspans of 11-65 mm, and tend to be cream in colour with orange, red and yellow patterns.  Seventeen species are known from North and Central America, though all of these are rather similar in general appearance.  Larvae of the new species are greenish with red stripes and yellow spots, and are found on the leaves of the Gum Bully bush, Sideroxylon lanuginosum, with flying adults observed in April and May and larvae taking a year to mature.  

A wasp-mimicking moth

A wasp-mimicking moth

Insects, New Species November 29, 2017 at 10:45 am

A wasp-mimicking clearwing moth from the Malaysia peninsula has been filmed and described for the first time.

A 130-Year-Old Specimen Brought Back to Life

A 130-Year-Old Specimen Brought Back to Life

Insects, Lazarus Species November 29, 2017 at 10:29 am

A moth has been observed and filmed for the first time in its natural habitat, 130 years since only specimen was collected.  A clearwing moth known only from a single specimen from 1887 (which is is missing important morphological features), was observed and filmed for the first time in its natural habitat.   The moth’s known ecosystem is vanishing rapidly due to extensive human activity.  The authors recently filmed and described a new wasp-mimicking clearwing moth from the same area.

New species of wasp found by college student

New species of wasp found by college student

Insects, New Species, Species Discovery November 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm

University of Maine student Hillary Morin Peterson of Brunsiwck Maine discovered the tiny, non-stinging wasp while conducting work for her undergraduate honors thesis.  Peterson was able to attend a 2015 BioBlitz at Acadia National Park focuse don finding hymenoptra, and by the end of the event she had been offered an internship with The Smithsonian to continue her research.

Blue butterfly has same number of chromosomes as you do

Blue butterfly has same number of chromosomes as you do

Insects, New Species November 28, 2017 at 11:39 am

What looked like a population of a common butterfly species turned out to be a whole new organism, and, moreover – one with a very peculiar genome organisation.  It was found flying over the northern slopes of the Caucasus mountains in southern Russia.

New species of teddy bear bee discovered

New species of teddy bear bee discovered

Insects, New Species November 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm

A NEW species of teddy bear bee (Asarapoda) has been discovered in the small town of Laura, located in the Cape York Peninsula of northern Queensland, during a ‘bush blitz’ of the area.  According to Remko Leijs, a biologist from the South Australian Museum, who discovered the new teddy bear bee, the bee is yet to be named as he is currently conducting a revision of this particular family of bees.

Survey reveals more than 30 new species from biodiverse Kaieteur Plateau, Guyana

Survey reveals more than 30 new species from biodiverse Kaieteur Plateau, Guyana

Amphibians, Arachnids, Fish, Insects, New Species November 22, 2017 at 10:20 am

The newly discovered species include more than 30 species new to science, and likely endemic to Guyana, including six species of fish, three plants, a tarantula, a frog, a snake, some dragonflies, plants and beetles.  The month long survey was conducted in Kaieteur National Park (KNP) and the Kaieteur Plateau in Guyana.

Not only does this new insect species mimics dead leaves for camouflage, its leafy wings make music

Not only does this new insect species mimics dead leaves for camouflage, its leafy wings make music

Insects, New Species November 14, 2017 at 8:40 am

A new species of bushcricket which mimics dead leaves to the point of near invisibility and sings so loud humans can hear it has been examined for the first time using advanced technologies to reveal the unusual acoustic properties of its wings.

A large dragonfly from Hainan Province, China

A large dragonfly from Hainan Province, China

Insects, New Species November 7, 2017 at 1:41 pm

A new species, a big and robust dragonfly. is described from Hainan province, China.  Only a few adults were collected from Mt. Diaoluoshan Mountain in Hainan Island. The population is quite small and all the males were hidden in the very dense forested streams. Males held the territory quite near water, usually perch on the short trees or top of sticks. They always perch but seldom fly, and only appear in the sunny days when the sunlight can pass through the dense tropical rain forest.

New bushcricket species are among the largest insects in the world

New bushcricket species are among the largest insects in the world

Insects, New Species November 5, 2017 at 12:43 pm

A new genus and seven new species of katydids are among the biggest, bulkiest insects on Earth. Found only on the island of Madagascar, the bugs have the “biceps” of a bodybuilder and can be very aggressive—both surprising traits for katydids.

First new species of damselfly discovered in Australia in a Decade

First new species of damselfly discovered in Australia in a Decade

Insects, New Species October 27, 2017 at 8:31 am

It is the first new species of damselfly to be discovered in almost a decade, and only the second in the genus Oristicta.  The new species was discovered during an Queensland Museum ‘Bush Blitz’ expedition in far north Queensland.  There are 325 species of dragonflies and damselflies in Australia.

An extraordinary cave animal found in Eastern Turkmenistan

An extraordinary cave animal found in Eastern Turkmenistan

Insects, New Species September 28, 2017 at 7:56 am

A remote cave in Eastern Turkmenistan was found to shelter a marvelous cave-adapted inhabitant that turned out to represent a species and genus new to science. This new troglodyte is the first of its order from Central Asia and the first strictly subterranean terrestrial creature recorded in the country.  The creature was found in Kaptarhana cave in the foothills of the Koytendag mountain range in the east of Turkmenistan, a distinctive desert landscape marked by ravines, plains, extraordinary rocky formations, sinkholes and the sixth largest cave system in the world. To find the animal, scientists spent 8 hours in the caveRead More

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.