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A collaboration between Wikispecies and ZooKeys has been announced. PhytoKeys also joined the collaboration in November 2010. Images of species from ZooKeys and PhytoKeys will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and used in Wikispecies.



Distinguished Author

Bocage-JV-Barbosa-du-1823-1.jpg

José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage
  (1823-1907).

A Portuguese zoologist and politician. He was the curator of Zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Lisbon. His work at the Museum consisted in acquiring, describing and coordinating collections, many of which arrived from the Portuguese colonies in Africa, such as Angola, Mozambique, etc. He published more than 200 taxonomic papers on mammals, birds, and fishes. In the 1880s he became the Minister of the Navy and later the Minister for Foreign Affairs for Portugal. The zoology collection at the Lisbon Museum is called the Bocage Museum in his honor. He was responsible for identifying many new species, which he named according to the naturalist who found them.

Species of the month

Blue Glaucus

Glaucus atlanticus

Glaucus atlanticus

Some facts on this sea slug:

Size: Between 3 and 5 cm.

Habitat: Floats upside down on the surface tension of the ocean.

Range: Distributed throughout the world's oceans, in temperate and tropical waters.

Diet: Siphonophores (jellyfish-like creatures).

Reproduction: Hermaphroditic creature, possessing both male and female reproductive organs.

First described: By the German-Polish naturalist, ethnologist, travel writer, journalist, and revolutionary Georg Forster in 1777.


Glaucus atlanticus has a tough stomach indeed. This sea slug's diet consists of venomous jellyfish-like creatures called "Siphonophores". Not only is Glaucus atlanticus immune to the stinging cells of the Siphonophores, but it also incorporates them into its own body as fully functioning defensive weapons. The eaten venomous cells reach the rayed appendages where they are absorbed into muscularized chambers at the tips. Here they are nourished and stored, ready to be squeezed out in case it comes under attack. These slugs, which are closely related to marine snails, drift upside-down with the currents, periodically gulping bubbles of gas into their stomachs to maintain buoyancy, and clinging to the surface tension with their muscular feet. They belong to the marine gastropod mollusks and make part of the Glaucidae or "sea slugs" family.

See also: Species of previous months

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