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

Kerengga Ant-like Jumper

Myrmarachne plataleoides

Myrmarachne plataleoides

Some facts on this spider:

Length: Females 6–7 mm; males 9–12 mm.

Range: India, Sri Lanka, China and many parts of Southeast Asia.

First described: By the British arachnologist Octavius Pickard-Cambridge in 1869, who originally named it Salticus plataleoides.


Take a look at Myrmarachne plataleoides. It is defeinitely an ant, right? Wrong! This is actually a jumping spider that disguises itmself as an aggressive weaver ant. It does this to deter potential predators by looking as if it were the unpalatable and dangerous insect. The weaver ant is noted for its painful bite and for producing two types of chemicals which increase the pain in the bite wound. This aggressive ant's bite can last for several days and be very unpleasant, so many birds, reptiles and amphibians avoid it. The Myrmarachne spider is really harmless and shy, yet it pretends to be just as tough by looking and walking almost exactly as a weaver ant. Its front section is modified to look like the distinct head and thorax of an ant, and it has two black spots that mimic the ant's eyes. The forelegs mimic the ant's antennae, so the spider looks as if it has only six legs instead of eight. This is not the only ant-mimicking creature, and many additional species are found around the tropics that imitate diverse types of aggressive ants.

See also: Species of previous months

Endangered species of the month

Slender Samoana Tree Snail

Samoana attenuata

Samoana attenuata

Some facts about this species:

Habitat: Terrestrial. The snail has a preference for higher branches in trees and often drier ridges. However, it is also found in at least one wet valley of Tahiti.

Distribution: Endemic to French Polynesia, where the population is severely fragmented. Extant on Tahiti, Moorea and Raiatea, Society Islands. The species was one of few species of Partulids which was native in Bora Bora, where it is now extinct.

Threats: The carnivorous snail Euglandina rosea (introduced in the late 1980s) remains the principal threat.

Surviving number: Approximately 100 mature individuals, and decreasing.

Conservation status: Critically Endangered (IUCN 3.1).

First described: As Partula attenuata by William Harper Pease in Tryon, G.W. & Pilsbry, H.A. (1909) Manual of Conchology, Volume 20. Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to vols. XVI–XX. (2)20: 165, 263.

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