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Newly Discovered: Previously Unknown Animal Species (Not Alleged Cryptids Or Species Believed Extinct)

With the giraffes, they found that what were previously thought to be sub-species are in fact totally separate species.

Can you provide any info on the current heffalump situation?
Nope. Can't find it.
New spider species resembles Harry Potter 'Sorting Hat'

A spider bearing an "uncanny" resemblance to the sorting hat in the Harry Potter series has been discovered by scientists in India.
The Eriovixia gryffindori, measuring just 7mm in length, closely resembles the magical artefact in the series.

The spider takes its name from Godric Gryffindor, the fictional owner of the hat.
It was discovered in the mountainous Western Ghats region of south-western India.

New Poisonous Frog Species Discovered in Peru

A peculiar croak heard within the Amazon rain forest leads to the naming of a new species of frog.

By Carrie Arnold

Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, in a region known as the Manú Biosphere Reserve, Shirley Jennifer Serrano Rojas crouched near a stream. She listened while her audio recorder tracked the noise of the rain forest around her. Then she heard something: an unfamiliar frog’s croak, not far off. But as soon as she snapped her head to locate the source of the sound, it disappeared.

It was the summer of 2013, and Serrano Rojas—a senior field scientist with the Crees Foundation—had been surveying amphibians in this part of Peru. She had heard all kinds of calls, but she didn’t recognize this one.

Back at camp later that day, her advisor, Andrew Whitworth, listened to the recording and confirmed Serrano Rojas’ suspicions: She had likely come across a new species.

Further trips to the same stream finally netted the mysterious singer: a black poison frog with two orange stripes down its body. Further years of study—including genetic and evolutionary analysis—confirmed that Ameerega shihuemoy was indeed new to science.

The description of the frog was published on January 16 in the journal Zootaxa. ...


New species of parasitic wasp discovered in the eggs of leaf-rolling weevils in Africa
February 27, 2017
Pensoft Publishers
A new species of parasitic wasp has been obtained from the eggs of weevils associated with bushwillows in northeastern Gabon. Given the tiny insect is the first record of its genus for West-Central Africa, the researchers decided to assign the wasp a name to celebrate its origin.

Could Cape York Peninsula be the spider capital of Australia?
11 April 2017

Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula could claim to be the spider capital of Australia with over 50 new species discovered. Spiders the size of dinner plates were found along with tiny arachnids no bigger than a thumbnail.

Researchers from the Queensland Museum including Dr Robert Raven, Dr Barbara Baehr and Robert Whyte, along with Macquarie University’s Jim McLean, were part of a team that discovered the spiders during the latest Bush Blitz discovery project in Quinkan Country during a two-week expedition.

Bush Blitz is a species discovery partnership program between the Australian Government, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and Earthwatch. Dr Raven and Dr Baehr said a 23-strong team of scientists worked with indigenous rangers and traditional owners to collect everything from scuba diving tarantulas and ant mimicking spiders to dancing peacock spiders. “This was one of the largest number of species Bush Blitz has ever discovered during one expedition,” they said. “Far north Queensland can boast an extraordinary variety of spiders.”

Bush Blitz manager Jo Harding said the new species discoveries weren’t possible without the knowledge and assistance of the indigenous rangers and traditional owners who know Quinkan Country. ...

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New species discovered behind a pub – then saved from extinction
In 2007, conservationists discovered a new species inhabiting a beach just behind a pub in Granity, New Zealand. But could they save it before erosion and rising waters wiped it off the face of the planet?

Thursday 1 June 2017 14.47 BSTLast modified on Thursday 1 June 2017 15.24 BST

Who says village life has to be boring? Granity, New Zealand may be home to less than 300 people, but this lovely seaside village on the western coast of South Island was also – until last year – home to a species found no-where else on Earth. And today, the town has quite the tale to tell.

In 2007 reptile expert Tony Jewell noticed there was something very different about the little lizards that skittered beneath the cobble stones on the beach behind Miners on Sea pub and hotel in Granity. Built in 1892, the pub has a long history of serving nearby mining communities.

Jewell was so convinced of the reptile’s distinctness that he included them as a separate species in his 2008 edition of A Photographic Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand. Although similar to the more common speckled skink, these Miners-on-Sea skinks were smaller and sported bigger eyes.

“Perhaps adaptations to wriggling through the gloomy spaces beneath the ‘cobble’,” Richard Gibson, with the Auckland Zoo, explained.

Conservationists began referring to this population as ‘cobble skinks,’ since they only inhabited the cobble stones that lined the beach near Granity.

But things quickly became dire for the newly discovered skinks. Eight years after Jewell discovered the population, two surveys, one in 2015 and 2016, counted only around 30 animals left. ...

More pics & vid at link.

Bizarre new deep-sea creatures discovered off Australian coast


This spiny crab was snapped 4kms down
Rob Zugaro

By Alice Klein

Faceless fish, giant sea spiders and blobby sea pigs. These are just some of the weird creatures that have been uncovered during the first-ever deep-sea expedition along the east coast of Australia.

The discoveries were made by an international team of scientists aboard the research ship Investigator, which is owned by Australia’s Marine National Facility. The ship set sail from Launceston, Tasmania on May 15 and reached its final destination in Brisbane, Queensland today.

During the one-month voyage, the ship tracked up the eastern edge of the Australian continental plate, where the ocean suddenly drops to 4-kilometres-deep. Fishing nets and trawling sleds were used to collect creatures at the bottom of this abyss.

More than one third of the invertebrates and some of the fishes found during the expedition are completely new to science. ...

Scientist On Thailand Honeymoon Discovers Nightmarish New Species Of Centipede

A new species of centipede was discovered in Southeast Asia which can grow up to 9 inches and hunts both on land and underwater.

According to a report published this week in ZooKeys, researchers in Southeast Asia have now discovered the world’s first known amphibious centipede.

Scolopendra cataracta — which sports a dark, greenish-black color and can measure up to eight inches in length — can be found both crawling on land and swimming in water throughout Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.

According to National Geographic, entomologist George Beccaloni of the Natural History Museum in London first discovered the centipede when he was on his honeymoon in Thailand. He was looking under rocks near a waterfall and was able to capture a specimen of this large creature.

Although this bite can’t kill a human or cause lasting damage, it will result in a painful bite from the creature’s “fang,” and may lead to a burning sensation that can persist for days.

The barred grass snake comes into its own as a newly classified species.

New species of grass snake identified in England
Recognition of barred grass snake as distinct species different to common cousin increases native total to four

A barred grass snake. Photograph: Wolfgang Bohme/Senckenberg Resea/PAView more sharing options
Monday 7 August 2017 20.17 BSTLast modified on Monday 7 August 2017 23.22 BST

England is home to four kinds of wild snake, not three as was previously believed, according to scientists.

The barred grass snake, Natrix helvetica, is now recognised as a species in its own right distinct from the common or eastern grass snake (Natrix natrix).
Both snakes can be found in lowland areas of southern England. Unlike the adder (Vipera berus), neither creature is venomous. The only other British snake, the smooth snake (Coronella austriaca), is also non-venomous and extremely rare.

Grass snakes, which grow to more than one metre (3ft) in length, live near water, mainly feeding on amphibians such as frogs, toads and newts. ...

New Purple Pig-Nose Frog Found in Remote Mountains

The striking species lives underground and comes out to mate only when it rains.

Scientists have discovered a new and unusual species of frog in the Western Ghats mountain range in India. The frog has shiny, purple skin, a light blue ring around its eyes, and a pointy pig-nose.

The scientists have called the new species Bhupathy's purple frog (Nasikabatrachus bhupathi), in honor of their colleague, Dr. Subramaniam Bhupathy, a respected herpetologist who lost his life in the Western Ghats in 2014.

While the new amphibians may appear odd, each quirk of the purple frog’s anatomy is the result of countless years of evolution. Small eyes, a long snout, and short limbs equipped with hardened ‘spades’—each enables the frog to spend almost its entire life below ground.


This astonishing creature is distinct with its carapace and chelipeds covered in pointy protrusions. Interestingly, these change with age, becoming shorter, blunter and mushroom-shaped to resemble wart-like outgrowths and granules. Regardless of their sex, as the crabs grow larger, their carapaces also get proportionately rounder and wider.

The curious protuberances on the bodies reminded the research team of Dr. Peter Ng, National University of Singapore, and Dr. Ming-Shiou Jeng, Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, of stars. Hence, the crab was given the name Pariphiculus stellatus, where stellatus translates as 'starry' from Latin.

The colouration of P. stellatus varies among specimens. While predominantly orange with white patches, their shade could be either dull, pale or intense. The white spots might cover some of the protrusions or extend over most of the body. The underside of the body is dirty white to light brown.

Another rare crab species, Acanthodromia margarita, has been reported for the first time from Taiwan in the same study, having previously been known from the Andaman Sea in the eastern Indian Ocean, Japan and the Philippines. The collected female specimen is one of the largest representatives of the species known so far.

"With their bright orange to pink bodies, these hedgehog-like crabs are truly striking in life!" says Dr. Peter Ng.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-08-species-crab-unusual-outgrowths-written.html#jCp
New Species of Orangutan identified

And are immediately put on the endangered list due to estimated population of less than 800.

Found living in the forests of North Sumatra in Indonesia, the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) was originally considered to be part of the Sumatran orangutan population, but the discovery of a separate species means it is considered the most endangered of all great ape species.

Following the discovery of the skeletal material, believed to have come from a Tapanuli orangutan killed in a human-animal conflict in 2013, an international team of researchers set out to understand more about the distant ape relative of humans.

Anton Nurcahyo, a PhD student from the Australian National University, said: "We were completely surprised to find that the skull is quite different in some characteristics from orangutan skulls we had seen before."

He added: "It has a smaller skull, but larger canine teeth than other orangutan species."

Orangutans were considered to be one species until 1996, belonging to the genus - a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of organisms - Pongo.

Designation of Bornean and Sumatran orangutans as two separate species, P. pygmaeus and P. abelii, occurred in 2001, the researchers said.

Analysis suggested the Batang Toru population may have been isolated from other Sumatran populations for at least 10-20,000 years.

Detailed Current Biology article
Earlier this year a new species of deep water shark, Etmopterus lailae, was discovered in waters surrounding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean.


Measurements of external features, teeth, vertebrae and intestines, along with specific external markings and patterns confirmed that it was indeed a new species – a member of the lanternshark family. Lanternsharks (Etmopteridae) are one of the most species-rich shark genera, with approximately 38 known species, 11 of which have been described since 2002.

The lanternsharks are one of two deep sea shark families to possess the ability to bioluminesce – in other words, they are able to glow in the dark. The other shark family with the ability to do this are the kitefin sharks (Dalatiidae).

Bioluminescence is the emission of light as a result of a biochemical reaction. In contrast to fluorescence and phosphorescence, bioluminescent reactions do not require the initial absorption of sunlight or other electromagnetic radiation by a molecule or pigment to emit light.

It is a phenomenon that has been documented in over 700 genera of animals, with the vast majority living in the ocean. In fact, there are a known 29 independent evolutionary events of bioluminescence in marine fish lineages alone.


maximus otter
A Fecund Fortean Farrago.

Mekong region: Lizard and turtle among 100 new species found

More than 100 new species have been discovered in the ecologically diverse region of the Mekong river which stretches from the Tibetan plateau to the South China Sea, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Image copyrightPA
Odorrana Mutschmanni, a coloured frog, was found in a forest in north-eastern Vietnam - among 115 new species discovered by scientists in the Mekong region in 2016. ...

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A Fecund Fortean Farrago.

Mekong region: Lizard and turtle among 100 new species found

More than 100 new species have been discovered in the ecologically diverse region of the Mekong river which stretches from the Tibetan plateau to the South China Sea, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Image copyrightPA
Odorrana Mutschmanni, a coloured frog, was found in a forest in north-eastern Vietnam - among 115 new species discovered by scientists in the Mekong region in 2016. ...


It's surprising how many new animals come out of that region, considering the fact that it's somewhat highly populated (unlike portions of the amazon, Congo, New Guinea, etc.). The 1st live specimen of the saola (a bovine) wasn't discovered until this century.

What the hell are you gaping at?!?

Rare, Mohawk-Wearing Fish Discovered 'Walking' on Seafloor
The discovery of a new group of weird fish — which sport bright-red, Mohawk-like fins on their head and finger-like fins on their sides to help them "walk" on the ocean floor — has delighted the divers who encountered them, just as they were trying to document the extremely endangered species.

Until now, scientists had known of only one population — that is, one group — of red handfish (Thymichthys politus, although it was formerly known as Brachionichthys politus). That group comprises between 20 and 40 individual fish that are living in Frederick Henry Bay, off the southeastern coast of the island of Tasmania, Australia.

Last week, divers from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and the citizen science project Reef Life Survey (RLS) encountered a new population, which also has between 20 and 40 of these bizarre, punkish-looking fish. ...

The newfound population lives a few miles away from the other one, but to protect the fish, researchers aren't disclosing its exact location, according to a statement from the University of Tasmania. Each population lives in an area about the size of two tennis courts — a range that's relatively small, because these relatively sedentary fish don't swim; rather, they walk on the seafloor with their hand-like pectoral fins, the divers said.

"That second population's just a huge relief," Rick Stuart-Smith, an IMAS scientist and RLS co-founder, said in a video. "It effectively doubles how many we think there are left on the planet. But it also gives us hope that there may be other populations out there." ...

There are about 10 known species of handfish, but little is known about their biology and behavior ...

Given the red handfish's low numbers, the newfound population is a welcome discovery, the divers said.

FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/61534-rare-red-handfish-discovered.html

How about a parasitic wasp that saws its way out of the host? ...

New 'Slasher' Wasp Comes Equipped with Its Own Body Saw
Freddy Krueger, eat your heart out. A new species of parasitic waspcomes equipped with built-in saws, which the killer insect may use to slice its way out of its host's body.

In a new paper published Jan. 30 in Biodiversity Data Journal, researchers from Penn State and the Natural History Museum in London report the discovery of Dendrocerus scutellaris, a wasp less than 0.1 inches (3 millimeters) long that sports a series of jagged spines along its back.

Based on the wasp's anatomy, researchers suspect it is an endoparasitoid, a type of wasp that lays its eggs inside a host, often a caterpillar or adult insect. The eggs hatch, and the larvae feed on the host from the inside out. When the food supply runs out and the larvae mature into their adult forms, they chew their way out of the host.

D. scutellaris lacks the pointy jaws that most endoparasitoid wasps use to gnaw their way out of their hosts. For that reason, the study authors argue that the saw-like structure on the wasp's back is its ticket to escape; when it's time to free itself, the wasp may rub the structure — called a mesoscutellar comb — against the inside of the host to slice its way out. ...

FULL STORY (With Photo): https://www.livescience.com/61600-slasher-wasp-with-body-saw.html

JOURNAL ARTICLE: https://bdj.pensoft.net/article/22676/
How about a parasitic wasp that saws its way out of the host? ...

FULL STORY (With Photo): https://www.livescience.com/61600-slasher-wasp-with-body-saw.html

JOURNAL ARTICLE: https://bdj.pensoft.net/article/22676/

The reproductive cycles of the more parasitic insects require either a strong stomach or a limited imagination among the researchers. I remember being startled by a book on North American insects - I only wanted to know which ones would poison me, but I ended up reading on in horrified fascination.
Speaking about parasitic wasp, the "Tarantula Hawk". This wasp is has the most painful sting of the creepy crawly's. It stings the tarantula then lays an egg(s) inside the poor paralyzed creature.
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Speaking about parasitic wasp, the "Tarantula Hawk". This wasp is has the most painful sting of the creepy crawly's. It stings the tarantula then lays an egg(s) inside the poor paralyzed creature.

Just thinking of a giant one of those in an SF/Horror Film really the business!
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It stings the tarantula then lays an egg(s) inside the poor paralyzed creature.

Anything that kills tarantulas should be awarded a medal.

maximus otter
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A little snake but venomous.

July 16 (UPI) -- Already home to some of the most venomous creatures in the world, northern Australia's wilderness just got a little bit more dangerous.

Scientists have discovered a new species of bandy-bandy snake, Vermicella parscauda, on a remote peninsula in Australia's Far North.

Biologists from the University of Queensland discovered the snake by chance while conducting a sea snake survey. The species is reactively small and narrow. It's scales are black with white stripes.

"Bandy-bandy is a burrowing snake, so Freek Vonk from the Naturalis Museum and I were surprised to find it on a concrete block by the sea," Bryan Fry, an associate professor at Queensland, said in a news release. "We later discovered that the snake had slithered over from a pile of bauxite rubble waiting to be loaded onto a ship."

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Australia has a new species of venomous snake? Just when we all thought that Australia had hit peak poison.
Sciences Bandy-Bandy 180706 - Pic 2 SMALL.jpg
"...Freek Vonk from the Naturalis Museum and I were surprised to find it on a concrete block by the sea," Bryan Fry, an associate professor at Queensland, said in a news release.

Yes, if I found a previously unknown venomous snake, I'd react with some degree of surprise too. I might even go so far as to say I was startled.
They should really have named the snake after Freek Vonk, that is an excellent name.
Could even be a source of antibiotics.

Video: Newly discovered rare deepwater coral identified off Irish coast
A type of “black coral” identified may be an entirely new species, says Marine Institute
about 23 hours ago Updated: about 2 hours ago

Gardens of rare and newly discovered deepwater coral and an entire reef of sponges have been identified off the Irish west coast by a team of Irish and British scientists.

A type of “black coral” identified on the mission may be an entirely new species, according to Marine Institute lead expedition scientist David O’Sullivan and Prof Louise Allcock of NUI Galway.

Mr O’Sullivan notes too that the sponge reef is the first habitat of its type discovered in Irish waters, and matched only by a similar reef in Canadian waters.

Plymouth University scientist Dr Kerry Howell says she hasn’t seen a sponge reef like it in 20 years of studying the deep north-east Atlantic, and says that such features may provide a new source of antibiotics.

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