Hercules beetle metamorphosis video


This video says about itself:

Watch a Hercules Beetle Metamorphose Before Your Eyes | Nat Geo Wild

22 May 2018

Watch this beetle go from larvae to giant. The Hercules beetle is one of the largest flying insects in the world.

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Ladybug larva becomes adult


This 6 June 2018 video shows a ladybug larva becoming an adult.

Jonathan van Deelen made this video in the Stille Kern nature reserve near Zeewolde town in Flevoland province in the Netherlands.

Small beetle that lived with dinosaurs discovered in amber


Kekveus jason. The amber sample with the new beetle trapped inside -- the beetle is the tiny speck indicated by the tip of a mechanical pencil for scale. Credit: Shuhei Yamamoto, Field Museum

From the Field Museum in the USA:

Tiny paragliding beetle that lived with dinosaurs discovered in amber, named ‘Jason’

June 7, 2018

Featherwing beetles are smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. They get their name from the feathery fringe on their wings that enables them to catch the air and float like dandelion seeds. And, it turns out, they go way back — scientists discovered a 99-million-year-old featherwing beetle preserved in amber, and they named it “Jason.”

“This tiny beetle lived during the Cretaceous Period, it saw actual dinosaurs“, says Shuhei Yamamoto, a researcher at the Field Museum in Chicago and co-lead author of a paper describing the beetle in Cretaceous Research. “The amber the beetle was found in is like a time capsule.”

The new beetle, the earliest member of its family to get a scientific name, is called Kekveus jason. “Jason” is a reference to the Greek hero who sailed the world in search of the Golden Fleece; “Kekveus”, meanwhile, doesn’t mean anything — co-lead author Vasily Grebennikov of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, picked it because new genus names for little-known fossils often wind up changing when the species is later reclassified as scientists learn more about it. “From my perspective I always believe that an animal name should not have any meaning (except when named after a person), since if the authors are wrong, it might be odd to have later species ‘chinensis‘ endemic to Europe, or something similarly absurd”, says Grebennikov.

Yamamoto discovered the tiny sailing insect by poring over pieces of amber. Amber is made from fossilized resin, a sap-like substance produced by plants. When prehistoric insects got trapped in resin, their bodies would get incorporated into the amber that formed — think the mosquitos from Jurassic Park, minus the “resurrecting dinosaurs” part.

When Yamamoto spotted a tiny black speck in the amber, he was cautiously optimistic that he’d found a prehistoric insect. “I didn’t have much confidence at first, but after cutting and polishing the amber so I could get a better look, I realized, oh, this is truly an amazing fossil”, he says.

The beetle is only 0.536 millimeters long — it’s dwarfed by the tip of a mechanical pencil. But under a microscope, Yamamoto was able to glean details of its anatomy that revealed it as a different species and genus from living featherwing beetles. For instance, it has three grooves running like pinstripes up its body, a feature not found on its modern cousins. Overall, though, the researchers found that K. jason has a lot in common with featherwings alive today, meaning that the family of beetles evolved features like a tiny body size and fringed wings millions of years ago. According to Yamamoto, amber fossils yield a level of preservation rarely found in regular rock, especially for insects. “There are many rock fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, but they’re limited to big animals like larger insects, mammals, dinosaurs, and birds, because small insects cannot be preserved in rock fossil very clearly. Only fossil insects in amber are preserved in fine detail, in three dimensions”, says Yamamoto. Yamamoto looks forward to further discoveries of prehistoric animals preserved in amber. “It’s likely that we’ll find more in the future — Burmese amber is one of the hottest fossils in the world,” he says. “There are so many great findings happening, literally day by day. Many important discoveries of insects will be made.”

Rare aquatic beetles in Wyoming, USA


Hygrotus sp. beetle, photo (c) James

From the University of Wyoming in the USA:

Rare aquatic beetles: Species distribution models guide field surveys

June 4, 2018

Summary: The known range of the narrow-footed Hygrotus diving beetle, which also can fly, is in central Wyoming, in the Powder River Basin and one site in the Wind River Basin. The sites are small, intermittent streams with disconnected pools and contain high concentrations of salt. These streams are in shortgrass prairie ecosystems that receive less than 400 millimeters of precipitation each year.

University of Wyoming researchers are shedding light on a rare aquatic beetle native only to central Wyoming.

Lusha Tronstad, lead invertebrate zoologist with the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, a service and research unit housed at UW, says the narrow-footed Hygrotus diving beetle has been petitioned for Endangered Species Act listing three times in the past 11 years by Wild Earth Guardians, an activist group.

“We have no idea how many there are”, Tronstad says of the aquatic beetle she has studied since 2010. “We do know they have been found in 12 locations in central Wyoming and nowhere else in the world.”

Tronstad was lead author of a paper, titled “Using Species Distribution Models to Guide Field Surveys for an Apparently Rare Aquatic Beetle,” that was published June 4 in the online version of the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management and is expected to be in print later this month. The journal publishes manuscripts containing information from original research that contributes to basic wildlife science. Topics include investigations into the biology and ecology of wildlife and their habitats that have direct or indirect implications for wildlife management and conservation.

Kelsey Brown, a graduate student in UW’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and Mark Andersen, information systems and services coordinator for the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, were co-authors of the paper.

Andersen created species distribution models, using such variables as how much sagebrush cover was available; soil conductivity, or how salty the soil is; air temperatures; and depth of groundwater at the sites.

“We used thesis models to predict suitable habitat for the beetles,” Tronstad says. “Using model results, we surveyed new sites across the state and discovered the beetle at one new location.”

This aquatic beetle was first discovered by Hugh Leech, a beetle expert, in 1964. Leech was driving along old Highway 85 near Midwest, according to Tronstad.

“He stopped and sampled Dugout Creek. Voila. He discovered a new species and published his work in 1966”, Tronstad says.

The known range of the diving beetle, which also can fly, is in central Wyoming, in the Powder River Basin and one site in the Wind River Basin. A site near Kaycee is the newest location where these insects have been discovered. The sites are small, intermittent streams with disconnected pools and contain high concentrations of salt. These streams are in shortgrass prairie ecosystems that receive less than 400 millimeters of precipitation each year, much of which is snow during spring.

Roughly 2.5 millimeters long, they are predators, feeding on mayflies, midges and other types of insects. Males are distinguished by large biceps on their front legs. They hibernate in the winter and reproduce during the summer, says Tronstad, who has conducted annual surveys of eight of the 12 known sites since 2010.

Aquatic beetles were collected in 2010, 2011 and 2012 to estimate the current distribution of the diving beetle in Wyoming, Tronstad says. Three streams — Dugout Creek, Dead Horse Creek and two locations in Cloud Creek — in the Powder River Basin were surveyed in July 2010. Tronstad says the group monitored statewide in 2011 and 2012. The group visited 511 sites and collected invertebrates from 246 sites over two summers.

“I usually walk up and down the streams,” Tronstad says of her summer research routine. “I sometimes find one stream where the beetle is living or a couple of streams.”

And, how do these beetles survive in these streams, which have a high concentration of salt?

“My guess is they can outcompete other invertebrates in these harsh, intermittent streams because they’re very, very salty”, Tronstad surmises. “The salts in the water make it difficult for other invertebrates to survive. Salt dehydrates. We think they have special mechanisms to deal with the salt.”

Models created predicted the diving beetles were more likely to be found in intermittent streams with a gentle gradient; shallow water table; variable precipitation patterns; high soil electrical conductivity; and in the warmest places in Wyoming.

“These streams will dry up into puddles during the summer,” she explains. “If we didn’t have any shallow groundwater in these intermittent streams, there probably wouldn’t be any habitat for them.”

Results suggest that maintaining the hydrologic integrity of prairie streams in Wyoming is vital to the conservation of the diving beetle, the paper says.

“What I will be doing next is looking at these finer variables to find out what is limiting their distribution,” Tronstad says. “I will be collecting information on cattle grazing and oil and gas, and how that might affect the sites.”

Beetlemania: How a supergroup scuttled to world domination. Handsome, hardy and diverse, beetles are supremely successful critters with a lot to teach us – but they’re suffering from our environmental waywardness: here.

A new study by Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and colleagues confirms that increasing minimum winter temperatures allow beetles to expand their range but reveals that overcrowding can put the brakes on population growth: here.

Top 10 newly discovered species for 2018


This January 2018 video says about itself:

AMAZING Recently Discovered Species

You’d think by now we’ve done a pretty good job at cataloguing all of the species in the world, but we’re far from done! Scientists believe there are around 8.7 million species in the world, with between 1 and 2 million of those being animals. And it’s thought the vast majority have not even been documented yet. 2017 saw a number of fascinating new discoveries, and we’ll touch on some of them today.

10 – Not for human consumption… Don’t let the name Churro mislead you, there is nothing tasty about this new marine worm that was discovered in the Gulf of California in 2017. They’ve called it Churro because of the striking resemblance to a Churro, the delicious fried-dough pastry dessert that is dipped into sweet sauces. This worm is between 4 and 10 inches and feeds off molluscs like clams.

9 – Feeling Blue… I would be too if faced with this bright blue tarantula that was discovered in Guyana. It doesn’t even have a name yet, that’s how new it is! It was spotted by Andrew Snyder, who says his flashlight bounced off something very blue, which he thought was just a reflection. When he went closer, he was really surprised to see the bright blue legs of the spider. Firstly, this is the first blue tarantula found in South America, as they’re usually found in Southeast Asia, and secondly, this one was living in a colony, which is very unusual for spiders.

8 – 5 a day… If you’re brave, you can add this bizarre fruit to yours! It’s the obscure relative of the tomato, and it was discovered in Australia. This fruit has been known to botanists for 50 years already, but it was only described officially in 2017. 7th graders helped name this weird fruit the deathly fruit, and when cut open, the flesh of the fruit changes from whitish green to blood red and then matures into a dry, white bony state. The fruit looks very unappetising, and I doubt it’s going to be flying off the shelves anytime soon!

7 – Blooming marvellous… A new species of orchid was found last year, called the devil orchid aka Telipogon diabolicus. This orchid is a fusion of male and female flower parts and as you can see, looks a lot like the head of the devil! This plant is only found in a certain area of Columbia, which is currently threatened by reconstruction.

6 – Now you see me… Now you don’t! You’re aware of how lizards drop their tails in order to escape a predator, but this newly discovered gecko takes things a little further. This creature is covered with overlapping scales, and when it’s in trouble, has the ability to shed those scales and make a quick, naked getaway. Within a few weeks, those scales have grown back and the gecko is ready for action once again.

5 – Down Under… We head down 13,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean to meet a new species of sponge that was confirmed in 2017. Plenaster craigi have been found in 2013 and 2015, and it was just last year that it was confirmed as an official new species. It was discovered in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, and live on metal-rich nodules that are common in that area.

4 – Look familiar? Pictured here is the Arcella gandalfi, and if you’ve watched Lord of the Rings, you’ll know why it got that name. These freshwater amoebas were rumoured to exist in Brazil, but they’ve only recently been discovered and confirmed to be real. Considering they’re a single cell organism, these amoeba’s are quite big, measuring 81 micrometers in diameter and 71 micrometers in height.

3 – Pretty in Pink… This is the Pink Floyd pistol shrimp, a new species of snapping shrimp found in the waters off the Pacific coast of Panama. Pink Floyd happened to be one of the favourite bands of the scientists who discovered it. As if the neon pink claw wasn’t strange enough, this crazy shrimp can kill its prey with noise! The snap of that giant claw is loud and powerful that it creates cavitation bubbles, which then burst into the prey, either stunning them or killing them. The sound reaches levels of 210 decibels, which is louder than a gunshot!

2 – No lazing around… An ancient giant sloth fossil was also found in 2017, hidden in an underwater cave in the jungle of the Yucatán in Mexico. This area is not known for many fossil finds, because the humid environment tends to destroy any traces of bones. Vicente Fito went diving in a limestone cave in 2009 where he made this remarkable discovery. He gave the bones to the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico, where they’ve spent all this time piecing everything together. This new species of sloth is thought to weigh around 500-pounds! Apparently the oldest sloth fossil ever found is roughly 9 million years old, and was found in Argentina.

This 23 May 2019 video is called Top 10 New Species of 2018.

From the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in the USA:

Top 10 new species for 2018

New to science: Plants, animals and microbes that have ‘found a way to survive against the odds’

May 23, 2018

The large and small, beautiful and bizarre are among the newly discovered animals, plants and microbes announced by the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) as the Top 10 New Species for 2018.

The large is a majestic tree that towers up to 130 feet (40 m); among the small is a tiny, single-celled protist. The list of science’s best discoveries includes a rare great ape and the fossil of a marsupial lion that roamed Australia in the late Oligocene Epoch. There are also two residents of the world’s oceans — a fish from the depths of the Pacific Ocean and a bright amphipod from the chilly waters of the Antarctic Ocean.

The 11th annual list, compiled by ESF’s International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE), also includes a beetle that looks like part of an ant, a plant that partners with a fungus, a bacterium that looks like hair and a beetle that resides in the dark and has an interesting evolutionary story.

In addition to the two ocean dwellers, the new species hail from countries around the globe: Brazil, Costa Rica, Sumatra in Indonesia, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, Japan, Australia and China. And one was found in an aquarium in the United States — its origin in the wild is not known.

The first list was compiled in 2008.

“I’m constantly amazed at how many new species show up and the range of things that are discovered”, said ESF President Quentin Wheeler, the founding director of the IISE.

Wheeler and the IISE issue the list each year as a lesson in the value of species exploration and biodiversity.

“We name about 18,000 per year but we think at least 20,000 per year are going extinct. … So many of these species — if we don’t find them, name them and describe them now — will be lost forever. And yet they can teach us so much about the intricacies of ecosystems and the details of evolutionary history. Each of them has found a way to survive against the odds of changing competition, climate and environmental conditions. So each can teach us something really worth knowing as we face an uncertain environmental future ourselves.”

Wheeler puts responsibility for the rate of extinctions squarely on humans.

“At this stage, it’s us. People are altering habitats and changing the climate”, he said. “As inconvenient as it might be to adapt to climate change with our crops and relocate cities in the most extreme scenarios, what we can’t do is bring back species once they’re gone.”

The institute’s international committee of taxonomists selects the Top 10 from among the approximately 18,000 new species named the previous year. The list is made public around May 23 to recognize the birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, an 18th century Swedish botanist who is considered the father of modern taxonomy.

The list follows.

Ancoracysta twista

Protist: Aquarium to enigma

Ancoracysta twista

Location: Unknown

Discovered in an aquarium in San Diego, California, USA, this new single-celled protist has challenged scientists to determine its nearest relatives. It does not fit neatly within any known group and appears to be a previously undiscovered, early lineage of Eukaryota with a uniquely rich mitochondrial genome. Eukaryotes are organisms with cells in which genetic material is organized in a membrane-bound nucleus. Prokaryotes, like bacteria and archaea, lack such an organized nucleus. Eukaryotes include single-celled protists as well as multi-celled organisms we commonly think of as animals, plants and fungi.

Ancoracysta twista is a predatory flagellate that uses its whip-like flagella to propel itself and unusual harpoon-like organelles, called ancoracysts, to immobilize other protists on which it feeds. The geographic origin of the species in the wild is not known. It was found in a tropical aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on a brain coral. The unusually large number of genes in its mitochondrial genome opens a window into the early evolution of eukaryotic organisms.

Dinizia jueirana-facao

Atlantic forest tree: Mighty in size, small in number

Dinizia jueirana-facao

Location: Brazil

The legume genus Dinizia was known, until now, from a single Amazonian tree species, D. excelsa, discovered nearly 100 years ago. Dinizia jueirana-facao, up to 130 feet (40 m) in height, emerges above the canopy of the semi-deciduous, riparian, pristine Atlantic forest where it is found. This massive tree, weighing an estimated 62 tons (56,000 kg), is smaller than its Amazonian sister-species and lacks its buttresses, but is similarly impressive. D. jueirana-facao is known only from within and just beyond the boundaries of the Reserva Natural Vale in northern Espirito Santo, Brazil. While large in dimension, the tree is limited in numbers — it is known from only 25 individuals, about half of which are in the protected area, making it critically endangered. The woody fruits are impressive in size, too, reaching about 18 inches (0.5 m) in length. More than 2,000 species of vertebrate animals live in the Atlantic forest, including almost 200 endemic species of birds. This forest is home to more than half of the threatened animal species in Brazil, but its range has been severely diminished and fragmented, with perhaps 15 percent of its once 330 million acres (more than 1.3 million square kilometers) remaining.

Epimeria quasimodo, photo Cédric D’udekem D’acoz, ©Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences

Amphipod: A name that rings a bell

Epimeria quasimodo

Location: Antarctic Ocean

Here’s a new species whose name might ring a bell. This amphipod, about 2 inches (50mm) in length, Epimeria quasimodo, is named for Victor Hugo’s character, Quasimodo the hunchback, in reference to its somewhat humped back. It is one of 26 new species of amphipods of the genus Epimeria from the Southern Ocean with incredible spines and vivid colors. The number of species, and their extraordinary morphological structures and colors, makes the genus Epimeria an icon of the Southern Ocean that includes both free-swimming predators and sessile filter feeders.

The genus is abundant in the glacial waters circulating south of the Polar Front and their crested adornments are reminiscent of mythological dragons. When a treatment of the genus was published in 2007, many researchers assumed that the species were rather completely known. Using a combination of morphology and DNA evidence, however, a Belgian pair of investigators have demonstrated in their comprehensive monograph just how little we yet know of these spectacular invertebrates.

This video says about itself:

New species of beetle discovered hitchhiking on ants

23 February 2017

Summarises research by von Beeren and Tishechkin. “Nymphister kronaueri von Beeren & Tishechkin sp. nov., an army ant-associated beetle species (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Haeteriinae) with an exceptional mechanism of phoresy.” BMC Zoology (2017).

Read the original article here.

The article continues:

Baffling Beetle: Camouflaged hitchhiker

Nymphister kronaueri

Location: Costa Rica

Nymphister kronaueri is a tiny beetle that lives among ants. At about 1.5 mm in length, 16 of them could line up head-to-tail in the space of an inch (2.5 cm). But their story gets much better. They live exclusively among one species of army ant, Eciton mexicanum. The host ants, as with other army ants, do not construct permanent nests but are nomadic. In the case of E. mexicanum, they spend two to three weeks on the move, making raids each day to capture thousands of prey items, then spend two to three weeks in one location. While the beetle can move about and feed while the host colony is stationary, it must make the trip with the ants when they are on the move to a new location. The beetle’s body is the precise size, shape and color of the abdomen of a worker ant. The beetle uses its mouthparts to grab the skinny portion of the host abdomen and hang on, letting the ant do the walking. At a glance, an ant with the beetle onboard appears to have two abdomens but the upper one is a beetle. Like other myrmecophiles (literally, ant lovers), these beetles must use chemical signals or other adaptations to avoid becoming prey themselves. Exactly how that works in the case of N. kronaueri is yet to be determined.

This 2 November 2017 video is called New Species of Orangutan – The Tapanuli Orangutan.

Tapanuli Orangutan: Endangered great ape

Pongo tapanuliensis

Location: Sumatra, Indonesia

Until now, only half a dozen non-human great apes have been recognized. The eastern and western gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos are more closely related to humans than the orangutans which are the only great apes in Asia. In 2001, the orangutans of Sumatra and Borneo were recognized as distinct species, Pongo abelii and P. pygmaeus. An international team of researchers, examining morphometric, behavioral, and genomic evidence, have concluded that an isolated population at the southern range limit of Sumatran orangutans, in Batang Toru, is distinct from both northern Sumatran and Bornean species. Genomic evidence suggests that while the northern Sumatra and Borneo species separated about 674 thousand years ago, this southern Sumatra species diverged much earlier, about 3.38 million years ago. As soon as the significance of this isolated population was determined, it revealed the most imperiled great ape in the world. Only an estimated 800 individuals exist in fragmented habitat spread over about 250,000 acres (about 1,000 square kilometers) on medium elevation hills and submontane forests from about 1,000 to 4,000 feet (300 to 1,300 m) above sea level, with densest populations in primary forest. Size is similar to other orangutans, with females under 4 feet (1.21 m) in height and males under 5 feet (1.53 m).

This 12 February 2018 video is called Ocean’s deepest fish thrives 26,000 feet below surface

Swire’s Snailfish: Deepest fish in the sea

Pseudoliparis swirei

Location: Western Pacific Ocean

In the dark abyss of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific lies the deepest spot in the world’s oceans and the deepest-dwelling fish ever discovered with verified depth. Large numbers of the new species were attracted to traps baited with mackerel. Pseudoliparis swirei is a small, tadpole-like fish measuring a little over four inches in length (112 mm) yet appears to be the top predator in its benthic community at the bottom of this particularly deep sea. It was captured at depths between 22,000 and 26,000 feet (6,898 and 7,966 m). A fish was recorded on camera at an even greater depth, at nearly 27,000 feet (8,143 m) but it was not recovered and could not be confirmed to be the same species. P. swirei belongs to the snailfish family, Liparidae. Among the family’s more than 400 named species are fish found at all depths, from intertidal pools to the deepest reaches. It is believed that about 27,000 feet (8,200 m) is a physiological limit below which nearly all fishes cannot survive.

This 26 KJuly 2017 video is called New plant that does not perform photosynthesis has been discovered in Japan.

Heterotrophic Flower: Magnificent moocher

Sciaphila sugimotoi

Location: Ishigaki Island, Japan

Most plants are autotrophic, capturing solar energy to feed themselves by means of photosynthesis. A few, like the newly discovered S. sugimotoi, are heterotrophic, deriving their sustenance from other organisms. In this case, the plant is symbiotic with a fungus from which it derives nutrition without harm to the partner. In fact, the plant family Triuridaceae to which it belongs consists entirely of such mycoheterotrophs (fungus symbionts). The discovery of any new species of plant in Japan is newsworthy as the flora is well-documented, so such a beautiful new flower is an exciting addition. The delicate S. sugimotoi, just under 4 inches in height (10 cm), appears during short flowering times in September and October, producing small blossoms. The species is considered critically endangered as it has been found in only two locations on the island in humid evergreen broadleaf forest, represented by perhaps 50 plants. As with other fungal symbionts, the species depends on a stable ecosystem for survival.

This 25 April 2017 video in Spanish is about the discovery of Thiolava veneris.

Volcanic Bacterium: New species erupting onto the scene

Thiolava veneris

Location: Canary Islands

When the submarine volcano Tagoro erupted off the coast of El Hierro in the Canary Islands in 2011, it abruptly increased water temperature, decreased oxygen and released massive quantities of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, wiping out much of the existing marine ecosystem. Three years later, scientists found the first colonizers of this newly deposited area — a new species of proteobacteria producing long, hair-like structures composed of bacterial cells within a sheath. The bacteria formed a massive white mat, extending for nearly half an acre (about 2,000 square meters) around the summit of the newly formed Tagoro volcanic cone at depths of about 430 feet (129-132 m). Scientists reporting the new species concluded that the unique metabolic characteristics of the bacteria allow them to colonize this newly formed seabed, paving the way for development of early-stage ecosystems. They dubbed the filamentous mat of bacteria “Venus’ hair.”

This 6 December 2017 video is called Extinct kangaroo like lion discovered in Australia.

Marsupial Lion: Ferocious fossil

Wakaleo schouteni

Location: Australia

In the late Oligocene, which ended about 23 million years ago as the Miocene arrived, a marsupial lion, Wakaleo schouteni, roamed Australia’s open forest habitat in northwestern Queensland, stalking its prey. Scientists from the University of New South Wales recovered fossils in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in Queensland that proved to be a previously unknown fossil marsupial lion. Weighing in at about 50 pounds, more or less the size of a Siberian husky dog, this predator spent part of its time in trees. Its teeth suggest that it was not completely reliant on meat but was, rather, an omnivore. It is part of a lineage (the genus Wakaleo) that followed Cope’s rule during the Miocene, increasing in size through time, possibly in response to larger prey that, in turn, evolved as the flora changed as the continent became drier and cooler. Based on their discovery, researchers believe two species of marsupial lion were present in the late Oligocene 25 million years ago. The other, Wakaleo pitikantensis, was slightly smaller and was identified from teeth and limb bones discovered near Lake Pitikanta in South Australia in 1961.

Xuedytes bellus, Tian & Huang, 2017

Cave Beetle: Imprints of darkness

Xuedytes bellus

Location: China

Beetles that become adapted to life in the permanent darkness of caves often resemble one another in a whole suite of characteristics including a compact body, greatly elongated, spider-like appendages, and loss of flight wings, eyes and pigmentation. Such troglobitic beetles are a prime example of convergent evolution, that is, unrelated species evolving similar attributes as adaptions to similar selection forces. A new species of troglobitic ground beetle from China, less than half an inch in length (about 9 mm), is striking in the dramatic elongation of its head and prothorax, the body segment immediately behind the head to which the first pair of legs attach. Xuedytes bellus was discovered in a cave in Du’an, Guangxi Province, China. Like much of southern China, this is in a vast karst landscape riddled with caves and home to the greatest diversity of cavernicolous trechine ground beetles (family Carabidae) in the world. To date, more than 130 species, representing nearly 50 genera, have been described from China. This new one is a spectacular addition to the fauna.

See also here. And here.

Scarlet lily beetles mate on flowering plant


This 8 May 2018 video shows scarlet lily beetles mating on a snake’s head fritillary flowering plant.

Wim Bender in the Netherlands made this video.

Newly discovered beetle species named after astronaut, Leonardo Dicaprio


This video says about itself:

BREAKING! Leonardo DiCaprio awarded an impressive insect honor

1 May 2018

Meet Grouvellinus leonardodicaprioi.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Bornean riffe beetle now known as Grouvellinus andrekuipersi

There was already a tulip named after him and a planetoid, but since today astronaut André Kuipers is also the proud name giver of a new beetle species; the Grouvellinus andrekuipersi.

The beetle was discovered during an expedition in Borneo, organized by biologist Menno Schilthuizen. During the same expedition another beetle was found, named after the American actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Vulnerable

De Groot wrote a competition for an original name for the beetle and biology student Auke-Florian Hiemstra suggested naming the insect after André Kuipers because of his great commitment to the environment.

“As an astronaut, Kuipers saw the earth from space and experienced the “Overview Effect“. He suddenly saw how vulnerable the earth is and realized that we should be careful with our planet.”

Kuipers received the scientific publication in Zookeys from Hiemstra, in which the beetle is described with its new name.

Riffe beetle

The Grouvellinus andrekuipersi is a real riffe beetle. It was found in an area in Borneo with a lot of clean and fresh water. The beetles live on pieces of wood in streams and mainly eat the bacteria that grow on the wood. The Grouvellinus andrekuipersi probably only occurs in Borneo.

It is not the first time that animals and insects are named after celebrities. A [pistol] shrimp with bright pink scissors and a good sense of drumming was named after the British rock band Pink Floyd and a fly with heavy arms after Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Donald Trump was also named after an animal species. The moth Neopalpa donaldtrumpi has a yellow-orange ‘haircut’ that is very similar to that of the American president.