Giant Land Lobster Not Extinct…. yet!

7 January, 2010

Excerpt from original article found at NewScientist.com. Find the full article and much more information there.

15 July 2006 by Stephanie Pain


On 14 June 1918, the supply ship Makambo struck a submerged rock off Lord Howe Island, a volcanic dot 780 kilometres north-east of Sydney, Australia. The cargo was salvaged and taken ashore to the island, which is a semi-tropical paradise, lushly forested and rich in plants and animals found nowhere else. Unfortunately, the ship’s rats came ashore too. They spread rapidly, soon dispatching several island species, including a giant wingless stick insect, or phasmid. By the 1930s, the Lord Howe Island phasmid (Dryococelus australis) was written off as extinct.

By all accounts, it had been a spectacular insect, so big the islanders called it the land lobster. Females grew up to 15 centimetres long, with bodies as thick as a finger and long, stout legs equipped with hooks. The slightly shorter males had peculiarly massive thighs armed with evil-looking spines. They couldn’t fly but they could run surprisingly fast.[...]

[...]

However, in 1964, a rock climber found a dead phasmid, not on Lord Howe Island but on Balls Pyramid, a remote spire of rock 24 kilometres to the south-east. Another climber found two more dead phasmids there in 1969, one lodged in a bush, the other as part of a seabird’s nest – a stick insect mistaken for a stick. Was the giant phasmid alive and well and living somewhere on Balls Pyramid? It seemed improbable. This was a creature of warm, damp forests that needed living trees with sizeable hollows to hide in. Balls Pyramid is the world’s highest sea stack, its sheer cliffs rising 550 metres. Isolated, exposed to high winds and with no apparent water supply, the islet has just a few scraps of vegetation and no trees. To everyone’s disappointment but no one’s surprise, every expedition that went in search of giant phasmids drew a blank.

This article from NewScientist is a must-read! A great recount of a fascinating story…
Long Live the Phasmids!

What tipped me off to Land Lobsters?  The Tree Lobsters! comic.  Science geeks beware- there’s hilarity afoot!  Don’t miss the secret messages under each comic.

And the Bug Girl’s Blog.


40+ Species Discovered in Crater of Volcano

14 September, 2009

Image Gallery

A team of scientists from Britain, the United States and Papua New Guinea found more than 40 previously unidentified species when they climbed into the kilometre-deep crater of Mount Bosavi and explored a pristine jungle habitat teeming with life that has evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago. In a remarkably rich haul from just five weeks of exploration, the biologists discovered 16 frogs which have never before been recorded by science, at least three new fish, a new bat and a giant rat, which may turn out to be the biggest in the world.

Full article.


1,068 Species Discovered in South East Asia!

1 April, 2009

The incredibly pink Dragon Millipede is able to shoot cyanide.

millipede

It’s one of over a thousand species found in the Greater Mekong in the past 10 years- that’s an average of 2 new species found per week for 10 years!

Find more info at WWF online!


Scientists Discover New Forest with Undiscovered Species on Google Earth

23 February, 2009

Conservationists have found a host of new species after discovering uncharted new territory on the internet map Google Earth.
googleforest

Excerpt from original article by Louise Gray,
Environment Correspondent

“The mountainous area of northern Mozambique in southern Africa had been overlooked by science due to inhospitable terrain and decades of civil war in the country.

However, while scrolling around on Google Earth, an internet map that allows the viewer to look at satellite images of anywhere on the globe, scientists discovered an unexpected patch of green.

A British-led expedition was sent to see what was on the ground and found 7,000 hectares of forest, rich in biodiversity, known as Mount Mabu.

In just three weeks, scientists led by a team from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew found hundreds of different plant species, birds, butterflies, monkeys and a new species of giant snake.

The samples which the team took are now back in Britain for analysis.

So far three new butterflies and one new species of snake have been discovered but it is believed there are at least two more new species of plants and perhaps more new insects to discover. …”

Read the entire article  (and find more pics!) at the Telegraph.co.uk.

View many many more shots of the forest and animals at the Telegraph’s slideshow.


Parasite Turns Ant into Bird Bait

18 January, 2008
From an original article
posted at Physorg.com

ant.jpg
“When the ant Cephalotes atratus is infected with a parasitic nematode, its normally black abdomen turns red, resembling the many red berries in the tropical forest canopy. According to researchers, this is a strategy concocted by nematodes to entice birds to eat the normally unpalatable ant and spread the parasite in their droppings. (Steve Yanoviak/University of Arkansas)

Read the full article at Physorg.com


New Snake, Butterfly, and 9 Others Found in Vietnam

26 September, 2007

The tropical forests of Vietnam are throwing open their secrets, as scientists discover 11 new species including two types of butterfly and a snake.

The species, which also include five orchids and three other plants, are exclusive to the remote area in the centre of the country known as the “Green Corridor”, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) charity said.orchidaspidistra.jpg

A further 10 kinds of plant, including four orchids, are still being examined but are thought to be new species.

The WWF said the animals and plants, found in forests in the Annamites Mountains of Thua Thien Hue province where several mammal species were discovered in the 1990s, could represent the “tip of the iceberg” of new species.

Find the original article at the Daily Mail.


24 New Species Found by Rapid Assessment Program

29 June, 2007

Article from: AdelaideNow
June 05, 2007 05:00pm
SCIENTISTS say they have found two dozen new species in an expedition into a remote part of South America.

The Associated Press reported that an expedition by 13 scientists into the remote plateaus of eastern Suriname had turned up 24 new species, including a frog with fluorescent purple markings.

The expedition led by Conservation International discovered the species in 2005 in rainforests and swamps about 130 kilometers southeast of Paramaribo, the capital of the South American country bordering Brazil, Guyana and French Guiana.

Among the newly discovered species were the Atelopus frog, which has distinctive purple markings; six types of fish; 12 dung beetles, and one ant species… “


Above: Amazonian Snail-Eater Snake
—–

*Note: Aquarium enthusiasts will be interested in the discovery of several suckermouth catfish- at least 3 new species- one of which has a particularly large mouth, and another that is fond of RED algae… not to mention the appearance of the Armored catfish, which was believed to be extinct.

The original article (above) from AdelaideNow includes several pictures.
The Conservation International website has the full pdf file of the R.A.P. report.
The ABC News website has more pics- also high res.
Telegraph.co.uk has more pics- including some not on the previous sites.
Mongabay.com has a great article with more information.


Excuse me while I go a little Buggy!

19 March, 2007

oilbeetle.jpgMonday, 19 March 2007

Beetle re-emerges after 60 years

A beetle thought to be extinct in the UK since the 1940s has been rediscovered in south Devon. The short-necked oil beetle was found by an amateur entemologist during a wildlife survey on National Trust (NT) land between Bolt Head and Bolt Tail.

The beetles were last recorded at Chailey Common, Sussex in 1948.

Up to 40 of the insects, which survive by hitching rides on miner bees as larvae and then eating the bees’ eggs, were found at the Devon site.

David Bullock, head of nature conservation at the NT, said: “The discovery of a beetle that was thought to be extinct for nearly 60 years is an amazing story of survival, particularly for a species with such an interdependent lifecycle.

[Read entire article at BBC News]

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reedbeetle.jpg

Friday, 8 September 2006

Experts excited by Beacons beetle

A rare beetle, never recorded before in mid Wales, has been found at a lake in the Brecon Beacons. The two-tone reed beetle donacia bicolora, usually only found at a few sites in the south of England, was discovered at Llangorse Lake.

It was last spotted in Wales on Anglesey in the 1940s but has disappeared from that site.

The beetle was also recorded in Glamorgan in the 19th Century.

Mr Ellis, who is BBNPA biodiversity officer, added: “Finds like this show us how little we know about the wildlife even in familiar areas of the national park.

[Read entire article at BBC News]

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giantbeetle.jpgTuesday, 27 June 2006

Carpenter finds ‘extinct’ beetle

A rare giant beetle thought to be extinct in Wales has been discovered by furniture makers in Carmarthenshire. The Giant Capricorn Beetle was found on an oak timber at a workshop in Llanelli by carpenter Ben Perrott.

At first, he thought the 6cm long creature was a toy until it started to move.

Experts examined the bug, which has 10cm long antennae, and identified it as the rare beetle which was thought to be extinct in the UK since the 1700s.

Entomologist Ian Morgan told the Western Mail newspaper: “I realised it was something special as soon as I saw it.

“It is very rare and is the largest long-horned beetle in Europe.

“This type of long-horn beetle was supposed to have been extinct in the UK since 1700.

[Read entire article at BBC News]


Found! 40 New Species in Virgin Brazil Rainforest

30 September, 2006

home_amapa2.jpg

Excerpts from
article
by Lewis Smith,
Times Environment Reporter

“Up to 40 new species of plants and animals, including a bird and a tree rat, have been discovered in an expedition to one of the world’s last unspoilt wildernesses.

newfrog_5f200px.jpg Researchers were particularly excited by the bird and the tree rat because new mammal and avian species are extremely rare. The discoveries have yet to be verified by peer review but Enrico Bernard, of Conservation International, is confident that 27 new species have been identified and that several more are contained among the thousands of specimens brought back for analysis.

lagarto_5f200px.jpg Besides the rat and the bird, the new species found include seven fish, eight frogs, lizards and snakes, two
shrimps and eight plants.
One species of lizard, [Amapasaurus tetradactylus], was rediscovered having been seen only twice before, both times in 1970. The lizard is unusual in having four fingers on its claws, whereas it closest relative has three.

“We have confirmed more than 1,700 species, of which more than 100 have been recorded for Amapá for the first time. Perhaps 40 of those are entirely new to science.

Among the creatures already known that were found in the region for the first time were 40 types of bat. Dr Enrico thought this if anything an underestimate. “There are potentially more than 100,” he added.The tree rat, from the genus makalata and the size of a large guinea-pig, lives with monkeys in the trees of the Amazonian tropical forest, where it eats only leaves and fruit.

The authorities in Brazil this week announced that 5.7 million hectares of the region is to be protected as the Amapá State Forest.”

Read the Full Aritcle at Times Online.

Thanks to Nutmeg for the scoop.


Britain Still Discovering New Species…

7 July, 2006

New species discovered in the Cairngorms
A previously unknown insect has been discovered in the Cairngorm mountains, as well as more than 20 plants, invertebrates and fungi species new to Britain.

The tiny black Christii fly (Ectaetia Christii), which measures just 2mm long and lives under the bark of dead aspen trees, was found during research for a new book released today. The book includes details the 223 species mainly found in the Cairngorms and some 1,153 species for which the Cairngorms are nationally important.

“Scotland is famed for the richness of its wildlife and it is remarkable that, given current scientific knowledge, we are still finding new species to add to that wealthy diversity,” said Rhona Brankin, Deputy Minister for Wildlife.

Full article at Scotsman.com…

Did scientists find this species just in time? For a very interesting article about the effects global warming is having on the Cairngorms, visit Climate Change Action at Blogspot.com for an on-the-scene perspecitve from Calvin Jones.


“Lost World” of New Species Found in Indonesia

5 July, 2006

the rarest arboreal, jungle-dwelling kangaroo in the world

“During a 15-day stay at a camp they had cut out of the jungle, the conservationists found a trove of animals never before documented…

The golden-mantled tree kangaroo (pictured above) is just one of dozens of species discovered in late 2005 by a team of Indonesian, Australian, and U.S. scientists on the island of New Guinea.

The animal is the rarest arboreal, jungle-dwelling kangaroo in the world, the researchers say.

.. Within minutes of landing, the scientists encountered a bizarre, orange-faced honeyeater bird. It proved to be a new bird species, the first discovered in New Guinea since 1939.

…A botanical team collected more than 550 plant species, including at least five previously unknown woody plant species. Entomologists encountered more than 150 insect species, including four new ones.

…Reptile experts documented 60 different kinds of frogs, including more than 20 new species. Including a tiny frog less than 14 millimeters (0.6 inch) long.”

Find the full National Geographic article with lots more info- and photos of some of the newly discovered animals here.


New Species Surveyed in Tanzanian Mountains

28 June, 2006

WWF | Newsroom

First Field Surveys of Tanzanian Mountains Reveal over 160 Animal Species, including New and Endemic Species
For Release: 06/22/2006
WASHINGTON — The first field surveys of the Rubeho Mountains in Tanzania revealed over 160 animal species — including a new species of frog and eleven endemic species — according to an article published in the African Journal of Ecology this month. The findings elevate the importance of protecting this biologically-rich wilderness area and the broader Eastern Arc Mountain range from destructive activities underway such as clear-cutting for agriculture, logging and poaching.

More…


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