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2012’s New Species – Spiders, Roaches, Millipedes, Wasps – Which is your Favorite?

Trogloraptor marchingtoniHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Invertebrate enthusiasts have learned to expect the discovery of fantastic new species on a regular basis.  But even old timers such as I were shocked by some that came to light this past year. Large, claw-bearing Cave Robber Spiders, giant bio-luminescent roaches, brilliant arboreal tarantulas, neon-colored freshwater crabs, dive-bombing wasps…the list boggles the mind.  Today I’ll highlight a few that have entranced me; please post your own favorites (whether covered here or not) below.

Cave Robber Spider, Trogloraptor marchingtoni

The Cave Robber Spider, arguably 2012’s most “otherworldly” discovery, turned up in a place not known for hiding unseen species – southwestern Oregon.  In fact, not a single new spider has been described in the USA in the past 130 years.  Read More »

New Cockroach, Discovered at a Tourist Resort, Jumps Like a Grasshopper

Bush CockroachHello, Frank Indiviglio here. Roaches are best known to herp enthusiasts as food for captive reptiles and amphibians.  However, these very interesting insects are increasingly being valued as display animals in their own right, and are appearing in the pet trade (I find the lime-green Banana Roach, Panchlora nivea, to be among the most beautiful of all insects…please see photo and article below for information on keeping roaches).  Recently, entomologists were surprised to discover a new species on the grounds of a famous South African resort. Christened the Leaproach, Saltoblattela monistabularis, it is the only one of its nearly 5,000 relatives known to jump, and on first glance looks much like a grasshopper.

A New Species at a Tourist Attraction

The Leaproach was first collected on the grounds of South Africa’s Table Mountain National Park, a mere 10 minute drive from Cape Town (please see photo).  The park is visited by over 4 million people each year.  Read More »

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