Sixty New Dragonfly Species Described from Africa


The number of dragonfly species known in Africa has increased by almost 10%, from 700 to 760 species. The new species are described in the journal Odonatologica.

“The current emphasis on molecular research creates the impression that the undiscovered life is inconspicuous or hidden, but each of our new species is colorful and easy to identify,” said KD Dijkstra, one of the authors. “It’s a matter of going outside and knowing what you’re looking for.”

Some of the new species were given interesting names. For example, Umma gumma was named after the 1969 Pink Floyd album Ummagumma. Another, Notogomphus gorilla, is named after the Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). Others are named after other entomologists who worked on dragonflies in Africa, and many are named after African rivers, parks, or provinces.

“Names introduce species to humanity,” Dijkstra said. “All awareness, conservation and research of nature starts with the question: which species is that?”

A New Genus of Plant Bug, Plus Four New Species from Australia

A new genus of plant bug and four new species have been discovered in Australia. The newly discovered insects, which belong to the family Miridae

Hundred-Million-Year-Old Beetle Provides Clues to the Past


About 100 million years ago in present-day Myanmar, a tiny beetle flew into a coniferous tree and became engulfed in its resin. Over time, the resin fossilized into amber — with the beetle fully encased — resulting in one of the most spectacularly preserved ancient beetle specimens yet described.

“For a beetle taxonomist and for the entomological community as a whole, this is an exciting discovery,” said Michael Caterino, director of the Clemson University Arthropod Collection. “This is an extraordinary 99 million-year-old fossil in Burmese amber. We can see all the details of the external sculpturing of the wing covers and the head. We can see the mouth parts, which enable us to predict that this was a predator much like its modern relatives. And it has a lot of tantalizing characteristics that we hypothesized early members of this family had. But we no longer have to guess. Now we can confirm.”

The ancient insect is a member of a family of beetles called Histeridae, which still thrive today with more than 4,000 species. Caterino has co-authored a research article, published in the journal Zootaxa, about