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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: New Species Discovered, Thanks to Flickr
9 August 2012 4:46 pm
Every starlet dreams of being discovered by talent agents leafing through her portfolio. If insects have such aspirations, consider them satisfied: Researchers recently spotted a previously unknown species of lacewing while randomly flipping through images posted on the online database Flickr. Adult lacewings are small, nondescript, soft-bodied insects best known for their diaphanous wings, but their larvae voraciously prey on aphids and other insects and are often used in biological pest control on flowers or crops. The images of the new lacewing, which has a 30-millimeter wingspan, were taken in a forested park north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by an amateur photographer and then posted online. An entomologist randomly viewing the images noted the distinct pattern of veins in the insect’s wings, which sport black markings and two white spots (see image above), and suspected the creature was an undescribed species. Unfortunately, the photographer had released the insect after taking its picture, so researchers had to wait until the shutterbug revisited the area and collected a specimen before they could officially write up their discovery, which they report online this week in ZooKeys. The new species—dubbed Semachrysa jade, not for its green color but for the lead researcher’s daughter—may represent the vanguard of many such finds made possible by collaborations between nature photographers and office-bound scientists.
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