Metabarcoding remote learning course – March 01, 2021 to March 28, 2021

I will be teaching our Metabarcoding course again coming March (March 01, 2021 to March 28, 2021).This course will provide an overview of the state of current technology and the various sequencing platforms used. The course consists of a series of online lectures and research exercises introducing different aspects of metabarcoding and metagenomics. We will also touch on the suite of bioinformatics tools available for sequence analysis and data interpretation. The course goes over 4…

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Important message from the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)

 WoRMS needs YOU!  WoRMS is a highly collaborative effort of over 500 involved experts, but we need all users – taxonomists, ecologists and non-scientists – to help us to keep WoRMS up-to-date and correct. If you find an error or an omission, please get in touch with us directly. Direct contact can fix errors a lot faster and more efficient than the WoRMS Team having to learn about these through peer-reviewed publications. The World Register of Marine…

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A new stalk-eyed fly: Teleopsis sorora

Stalk-eyed flies have eyestalks on which their eyes are mounted. These projections stick out from the sides of the head. Both males and females have eyestalks, but hey are much longer in males. Species are growing up to a cm in length and are known to feed on both decaying plants and animals.Todays new species was found around Kandy, a major city in Sri Lanka. It is considered the sister species of Teleopsis ferruginea, hence the name…

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A new fish: Lucifuga gibarensis

Lucifuga is a genus of cusk-eels that give birth to young that developed within their mothers body.  Most of the species are native to caves and sinkholes in Cuba and the Bahamas. There is one exception, a species that was found in deep waters off the Galapagos Islands.The new species was found in an isolated karst patch of marine caves in Eastern Cuba. It was named after the village of Gibara, where the three caves inhabited…

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Two new carpenter bees: Xylocopa auriventris and Xylocopa romeroi

Carpenter bees got their name from their nesting behavior. Most of them burrow into hard plant material such as dead wood or bamboo and lay their eggs into the chamber. These bees are important pollinators for open-faced or shallow flowers. In fact for some species they are the only pollinators, e.g. for maypop (Passiflora incarnata) and Orphium. No other insect visits those.Todays two new species were found in the Risaralda and the Valle del Cauca Departments…

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A (not so) new fish: Microcanthus joyceae

You might have seen this group of fishes in pictures and videos from coral reefs and sometimes in a reef aquarium although this would be a rather rare sight. They are called stripey for obvious reasons and are also known as footballer or convict fish. This species is re-described as the taxonomy of the genus Microcanthus has been debated for a long time. The original description is from 1931 and the name was chosen to honour…

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A new toad: Megophrys chishuiensis

A couple of months ago I posted about Litter frogs (Family Megophryidae) which live in South East Asia. They are mostly famous for their camouflage which makes many of them look like dead leaves. A widely known species is the long nosed horned frog. There is another new species from China this time found in the Chishui National Nature Reserve, Guizhou province. The species name refers to the location this species was found.For the experts: A new…

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A new grass fern: Actinostachys minuta

The grass ferns (Schizaeaceae) are a family of ferns mainly found in the tropics. Most of them are rather small plants and the new species is a so-called epiphyte which means it grows on the trunk of a tree fern. It was found on Mindanao Island, Philippines. The species name refers to is small size even compared to other members of the genus. For the experts: Actinostachys minuta Amoroso & Coritico (Schizaeaceae), from Mindanao, Philippines, is described herein…

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Two new spiders: Thelcticopis dahanensis and Thelcticopis unciformis

Thelcticopis is a genus of huntsman spiders (family Sparassidae) that occurs almost exclusively in the Australasian region. Huntsman spiders are also known as giant crab spiders. Some of them can indeed grow quite large (up to 30 cm). The new species are not that large though and not known to be venomous (in contrast to some other huntsman spiders). Both were found in Taiwan.One of the new species was named after the type locality and…

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A new termite: Gastrotermes spinatus

Termites are insects that live in colonies and divide labor among castes, produce overlapping generations, and take care of their young collectively. Although this way of live is very similar to some species of hymenoptera, termites are at best distant cousins, closer related to roaches. There are more than 3,100 living termite species worldwide.The species name is derived from the latin word spinatus which means spine. This refers to some spines on the body of the…

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