Páigina percipal

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Colaboraçon cun ZooKeys

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Ua colaboraçon antre l Biquispeces i ZooKeys (ambora an anglés) fui anunciada. PhytoKeys juntou-se tamien a la colaboraçon an nobembre de 2010. Las eimaiges de speces de l ZooKeys i PhytoKeys seran ambiadas ne l Wikimedia Commons i outelizadas ne l Biquispeces.



Outor çtinguido

Doctor Francesco Redi.jpg

Francesco Redi
1626–1697. Standard IPNI form: Redi

Francesco Redi was an Italian entomologist, parasitologist and toxicologist, sometimes referred to as the "founder of experimental biology" and the "father of modern parasitology". Having a doctoral degree and in both medicine and philosophy from the University of Pisa at the age of 21, he worked in various cities of Italy.

Redi is best known for his series of experiments, published in 1668 as Esperienze Intorno alla Generazione degli Insetti ("Experiments on the Generation of Insects"), which is regarded as his masterpiece and a milestone in the history of modern science. The book is one of the first steps in refuting "spontaneous generation", a theory also known as "Aristotelian abiogenesis". At the time, prevailing theory was that maggots arose spontaneously from rotting meat, which Redi was able to disprove. In an experiment, He used samples of rotting meat that were either fully exposed to the air, partially exposed to the air, or not exposed to air at all. Redi showed that both fully and partially exposed rotting meat developed fly maggots, whereas rotting meat that was not exposed to air did not develop maggots. This discovery completely changed the way people viewed the decomposition of organisms and prompted further investigations into insect life cycles and into entomology in general. It is also an early example of forensic entomology.

In Esperienze Intorno alla Generazione degli Insetti Redi was the first to describe ectoparasites, such as lice (Phthiraptera), fleas (Siphonaptera), and some mites (Acari). His next treatise in 1684, titled Osservazioni intorno agli animali viventi che si trovano negli animali viventi ("Observations on Living Animals, that are in Living Animals") recorded the descriptions and the illustrations of more than 100 parasites. In it he also differentiates the earthworm (generally regarded as a helminth) and Ascaris lumbricoides, the human roundworm. An important innovation from the book is his experiments in chemotherapy in which he employed what is now called "scientific control", the basis of experimental design in modern biological research. Perhaps, his most significant observation was that parasites produce eggs and develop from them, which contradicted the prevailing opinion that they are produced spontaneously. Altogether he is known to have described some 180 species of parasites.

See also: Distinguished authors of previous months.

Species of the month

Decim Periodical Cicada

Magicicada septendecim

Magicicada septendecim

Some facts on this insect:

Body length: 28-29 mm.

Eggs deposited by the female: 400-600.

Male song: High-pitched call resembling "weeeee-whoa" or "Pharaoh".

Range: Canada and the United States.

Life-span: 17 years.

First described: By Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in 1758, who originally named it Cicada septendecim.


No insect has more patience than Magicicada septendecim. These cicadas spend 17 years underground, waiting for the proper time. Then, all of a sudden, the mature nymphs emerge synchronously in tremendous numbers. The adults are active for about 4 to 6 weeks, when the males aggregate into chorus centers and attract females for mating. The females puncture the bark of twigs using the blades of a sawlike device at the end of their abdomen and make a pocket in the wood, where they lay their eggs. Hatching occurs six to seven weeks after egg laying. The adults drop dead and the white, antlike nymphs work their way out of the slits and make it to the ground, burrow to about 3 cm beneath the soil surface and stop and await the right time to emerge again. The life cycle is complete, and the cicadas are gone for another 17 years. Magicicada septendecim are devided into broods designated by Roman numerals based on the year they emerge. The numerals I through XVII are assigned to the 17-year broods. For example brood I are called "The Blue Ridge Brood". They last emerged in 1995 and are expected to emerge again in 2012. The periodical cicadas include 7 species: three follow a 17-year cycle and four more species follow a 13-year cycle. They belong to the family Cicadidae which contains about 2,500 species around the world.

See also: Species of previous months

Endangered species of the month

Lord Howe Island stick insect

Dryococelus australis ♂

Dryococelus australis

Some facts about this species:

Total length: 130–140 mm

Weight: 25 grams

Distribution: It was thought to be extinct by 1920, only to be rediscovered in 2001. It is extinct in its largest habitat, Lord Howe Island (Tasman Sea, Pacific Ocean). It has been called "the rarest insect in the world", as the rediscovered population consisted of a mere 24 individuals living on the small islet of Ball's Pyramid (20 km southeast of Lord Howe Island, measuring 1,100 metres in length and 300 metres across).

Diet: Herbivore.

Surviving number: Less than 15,000 specimens, mainly in captivity.

Conservation status: Critically Endangered (IUCN 3.1).

First described: As Karabidion australe by the French botanist, zoologist and entomologist Xavier Montrouzier in "Essai sur la faune del'ile de Woodlark ou Moiou", Annales De La Societé D'Agriculture De Lyon, 1885.

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