Celebrity Taxa

A new frog on the dark side of the moon

A new frog on the dark side of the moon

Amphibians, Celebrity Taxa, New Species May 10, 2017 at 8:15 am

Brachycephalus is a frog genus endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and characterized by the bright yellow-orange colors and small size.  The new species is characterized by the presence of black connective tissue covering all dorsal muscles and completely yellow-orange body.  Its name gives homage to the music of Pink Floyd.  See also another Brachycephalus  recently described.

Two new mole rats, one named Dr David Livingstone, I presume?

Two new mole rats, one named Dr David Livingstone, I presume?

Celebrity Taxa, Mammals, New Species May 8, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Two new species of African mole-rat have been discovered by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), together with colleagues in Tanzania and at the University of Pretoria. The new mole-rats were found around Mount Hanang and at Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, both in Tanzania. Fukomys livingstoni is named after Dr. David Livingstone, as Ujiji (the type locality) is the site of the famous meeting on 10 November 1871 when Henry Morton Stanley found the explorer David Livingstone, who many thought to be dead, and uttered the famous words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

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

An armored catfish, named after a legendary monster that attacks fishermen

An armored catfish, named after a legendary monster that attacks fishermen

Celebrity Taxa, Fish, New Species April 24, 2017 at 10:58 am

A new species of Parotocinclus is described, endemic of the rio Parnaíba basin in northern Brazil.

A fish named Pancho Villa

A fish named Pancho Villa

Celebrity Taxa, Fish, New Species April 24, 2017 at 9:34 am

A new species of cichlid from the River Coatzacoalcos Basin, Mexico.

A new, noisy, neon colored shrimp: the Pink Floyd pistol shrimp

A new, noisy, neon colored shrimp: the Pink Floyd pistol shrimp

Celebrity Taxa, Crustaceans, New Species April 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm

A newly discovered pink shrimp that, by snapping its claw, can make a sound louder than a shotgun.  The new species is named Synalpheus pinkfloydi, after the British band Pink Floyd.  

A sunflower discovered high in the Colombian Andes, named in honor of president

A sunflower discovered high in the Colombian Andes, named in honor of president

Celebrity Taxa, New Species, Plants January 24, 2017 at 11:59 pm

A new plant species from about 11,000ft up in the northern Andes of Northeastern Colombia has been named Espeletia praesidentis, in honor of efforts made by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to build peace in his country after over five decades of conflict.

A new crab genus discovered by a US marine-turned citizen scientist

A new crab genus discovered by a US marine-turned citizen scientist

Celebrity Taxa, Citizen Science, Crustaceans, New Species January 24, 2017 at 2:14 pm

A US marine-turned citizen scientist is honored with the discovery of a new genus of crab, found in Guam.  The tiny crab’s name also refers to the Harry Potter character Professor Severus Snape. Photo: Jose C. E. Mendoza; CC-BY 4.0

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.

Newly Discovered Species Named for President Obama (updated 12-26-16)

Newly Discovered Species Named for President Obama (updated 12-26-16)

Celebrity Taxa, Fish, New Species December 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm

The species was discovered 300 feet deep, on June 5, 2016, during a research trip to Kure, the world’s northernmost atoll.  The species name and description was published Dec 2016. “It is the one fish known to live only within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a pristine expanse of coral reefs and seamounts home to millions of seabirds, endangered turtles, endangered monk seals, and more than 7,000 species. So scientists thought it only fitting to name this fish after President Barack Obama, who dramatically expanded Papahānaumokuākea, creating the largest swath of protected land or water on Earth, an area roughly twice the size ofRead More

New found flower named for Jimi Hendrix

New found flower named for Jimi Hendrix

Celebrity Taxa, New Species, Plants December 16, 2016 at 12:35 am

The plant, named Dudleya hendrixii, is found only in a sliver of Baja California, Mexico, in an area called the Colonet Peninsula (Punta Colonet).  Author Mark Dodero and study co-author Stephen McCabe, a retired botanist formerly at the University of California, Santa Cruz, jointly decided to name the plant in Hendrix’s honor. The idea for the name took root after Dodero realized he was listening to Hendrix’s song “Voodoo Child” at the very moment he found the pinkish plant.

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.

Colorful dragonet gets a name, honouring Dr. Who

Colorful dragonet gets a name, honouring Dr. Who

Celebrity Taxa, Fish, New Species October 3, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Disocvered in 2013, and popular among aquarists, this colorful =dragonet has finally been formally named and described.

Chicago area scientists name chanterelle in the city’s honor

Chicago area scientists name chanterelle in the city’s honor

Celebrity Taxa, Mushrooms & Fungi, New Species September 23, 2016 at 10:19 am

Chicago-area scientists have named a new species of mushroom in the city’s honor. And it might end up on your pizza.  The chanterelle was identified by researchers from the Field Museum and Chicago Botanic Garden with help from Northwestern University students.  The Chicago chanterelle is smaller than other chanterelle mushrooms and is practically odorless compared to the distinctive fruity smell emitted by other types. The Chicago chanterelle is smaller than other chanterelle mushrooms and is practically odorless compared to the distinctive fruity smell emitted by other types. (Courtesy of the Field Museum)

New crickets, one named Jiminy Cricket

New crickets, one named Jiminy Cricket

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species September 22, 2016 at 9:49 am

New taxa and notes on some Landrevinae (Orthoptera) from Malay Peninsula.

Four new species of leaping frogs, one named for Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Four new species of leaping frogs, one named for Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Amphibians, Celebrity Taxa, New Species September 19, 2016 at 12:15 pm

Four new species and further review of the leaping frogs of India published.

Another animal, a parasitic flatworm, named after President Obama

Another animal, a parasitic flatworm, named after President Obama

Celebrity Taxa, Invertebrates, New Species September 9, 2016 at 8:09 am

Baracktrema obamai is a tiny parasitic flatworm that lives in turtles’ blood.  A new study officially names the 2-inch, hair-thin creature after Obama.  Scientists have also named a fish (Etheostoma obama), a trapdoor spider (Aptostichus barackobamai), a lichen species (Caloplaca obamae) and an extinct insect-eating lizard (Obamadon gracilis) after the current commander in chief.

Beetle named after Chinese President Xi Jinpin; media fumigated.

Beetle named after Chinese President Xi Jinpin; media fumigated.

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species July 12, 2016 at 8:17 pm

A patriotic Chinese scientist named a newly-discovered beetle species after Chinese President Xi Jinping. Apparently, Xi Dada was less than flattered, given that the beetle feeds on decaying matter. Posts about the bug have subsequently been removed from Chinese social media sites like Weibo, Douban and RenRen as Chinese censors fumigate the internet yet again.

Sir David Attenborough’s Dragonfly

Sir David Attenborough’s Dragonfly

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species May 20, 2016 at 10:19 am

A newly discovered dragonfly from Madagascar has been named in honour of BDS Patron Sir David Attenborough on the occasion of his 90th birthday, and in recognition of Sir David’s lifelong devotion to championing the work of hundreds of scientists, conservation biologists and naturalists worldwide, enlightening generations of children, and inspiring the public’s love of nature.  Video of co-discover Dr. Klaas-Douwe Dijkstra’s birthday gift to Sir Attenborough.  The discovery of this dragonfly among others shows that in many cases, unknown species are thriving within human communities.

New Aussie spider’s terrifying skills

New Aussie spider’s terrifying skills

Arachnids, Celebrity Taxa, New Species March 10, 2016 at 12:00 am

Australian researchers have named it Dolomedes briangreenei, or Brian for short.  This type of water spider waits on the surface until an insect, small fish, or tadpole comes near. The spider races to grab its quarry and then drags it to the shore to devour it.