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The Rush of Discovery

Post by PhD student Jackson Means who is an expert in the taxonomy of Nannaria Taxonomy, the naming and description of species, can be a tedious and exhausting undertaking. When one does taxonomy there are often long periods of intense … Continue reading

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Mediterranean recluse spider

Loxosceles rufescens (Dufour, 1820), the Mediterranean recluse spider Last month, I found this spider in Seitz Hall on the campus of Virginia Tech where we house the Virginia Tech Insect Collection. At first glance, I thought it was a Brown … Continue reading

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Cedar glade mimic millipede

Cedar glade mimic millipede This millipede is the species Brachoria cedra Keeton, 1959 from the The Cedars Natural Area Preserve in Lee County, Virginia. The Cedars Preserve is a wonderful limestone glade habitat, and it gets its name from the … Continue reading

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Checkered beetle

Enoclerus ichneumoneus (Fabricius, 1776)

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Weird beetle larva

Larva of the Net-winged beetle, Caenia dimidiata (Fabricius, 1801) This is the larva of Caenia dimidiata, a Net-winged beetle of the family Lycidae. The top image shows the dorsum (back) of the beetle, and the bottom is the venter (underside). … Continue reading

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New tarantula species

A new species of therophosid tarantula: Aphonopelma mareki This week a tarantula from the desert southwest was named after me. The species was named by my colleagues Chris Hamilton, Brent Hendrixson, and Jason Bond in the journal ZooKeys (doi: 10.3897/zookeys.560.6264). … Continue reading

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National Moth Week 2015

Death’s-head Hawk moth, Acherontia atropos (Linneaus, 1758). D. Descouens CC BY-SA 3.0 Join entomologists from Virginia Tech and celebrate National Moth Week! Come out to the university farm and discover insect biodiversity and nighttime nature. We’ll be at Kentland Farm at … Continue reading

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The luminous mountain millipedes

This week, we published a study documenting the rediscovery of the millipede Xystocheir bistipita, which turns out to be bioluminescent and a species of Motyxia, the Luminous mountain millipedes (Marek & Moore, 2015). A few folks have asked what the … Continue reading

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Why study bioluminescence?

The bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria is the source of green fluorescent protein (GFP) Credit: Sierra Blakely, Wikimedia Commons My research team, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), explores bioluminescence—the biological production of light by natural chemical reactions.   … Continue reading

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Parasitoid wasps

Parasitoid wasp in the family Braconidae (genus Asobara) Parasitoid wasp in the family Pteromalidae (genus Pachycrepoideus) Jamie Wahls, grad student in Tom Kuhar’s Vegetable Entomology Lab @ VT, visited our lab again with some of his fascinating parasitoid wasps. These … Continue reading

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