New Predaceous Diving Beetle Named after Pinocchio


Beetles in the family Dytiscidae are known as predaceous diving beetles. According to the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, they are all aquatic and both adults and larvae are known to attack a wide variety of aquatic organisms. Twenty-three new species in the genus Exocelina were recently discovered in New Guinea, and they’ve been […]

The Cliff-Diving Ant of Madagascar Heroically Protects its Nest


In 2014, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) added 221 new plant and animal species to the family tree, enriching our understanding of Earth’s complex web of life. One of the new species is the “Hero Ant” — Malagidris sofina — which was found on the island nation of Madagascar by CAS entomologist […]

U.S. Navy Entomologists Maximize Readiness by Preventing Insect-borne Diseases


For the sailors assigned to Navy Environmental Preventative Medicine Units (NEPMU), the battlefield is microscopic. Disease is a very real enemy to the Navy and the latest developments in entomology, the study of insects and related arthropods, helps keep the threat at bay. While most sailors want nothing to do with bugs, Navy entomologists actively […]

Another Insect Named after Sir David Attenborough


Earlier this year, a 20-million-year-old pygmy locust found in amber was named after Sir David Attenborough. Now the British naturalist and filmmaker has been honored once again, this time with a new species of beetle that has been named in his honor — Trigonopterus attenboroughi. Researchers discovered 98 new species of the beetle genus Trigonopterus […]

Newly Discovered Assassin Bug was Incognito, but Now it’s Incognita


Sometimes new insect species are discovered in the wild, and sometimes they are discovered in the drawers of old museum collections. Then there are those that are discovered by accident, which is how Dr. J. E. McPherson, professor emeritus at Southern Illinois University, discovered a new species of assassin bug. In 2006, Dr. McPherson was […]

Cricket Virus Leads to Illegal Importation of Foreign Species for Pet Food


By Joe Ballenger (An earlier version of this article originally appeared at I’m trying to to get back into the tarantula breeding hobby, and decided to set up a cricket colony to help me feed the animals for cheap. I’m not thrilled about using crickets, because they’re not the best feeders for reasons I’m […]

New Wood-eating Cockroach Species Found in China


Chinese scientists have found a new species of cockroach, and a new subspecies. Unlike the cockroach pests that most of us are familiar with, these live outdoors and eat wood. The new species and subspecies are described in the journal ZooKeys. Nearly 4,600 species of cockroach are found worldwide, but only 30 or so are […]

“Mean Old Bed Bug Blues” Shows How Bed Bugs Were Perceived 90 Years Ago


People sometimes talk about bed bugs as if they were a new problem. However, as Robert L. Usinger wrote in Monograph of Cimicidae, bed bugs have been biting people for as long as history has been recorded. While it’s true that there was a brief period of 50-60 years — beginning in the 1940s — […]

Scientists from China and Italy Name New Beetle after Marco Polo


A team of Chinese and Italian scientists have discovered a new species of beetle which they’ve named after Marco Polo, a Venetian merchant who was one of the first Europeans to visit and write about China back in the 13th century. The beetle’s name — Hycleus marcipoli — is “a tribute to the collaboration established […]

Flowers Trick Kleptoparasitic Flies into Pollinating Them


According to the authors of an article appearing in the journal New Phytologist, the pollination of about 4-6% of all flowering plants is based on deceit, “whereby plants advertise a reward but ultimately do not provide it.” Most known species of plants in the genus Aristolochia are known to cheat pollinators, and the researchers have […]