Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists find 58 new water bug species

05.04.2004


The work of two scientists over the last decade has almost doubled the number of described Australian semi-aquatic bug species.



With an estimated two thirds of Australia’s insects yet to be scientifically described, documenting and recording new species is no easy task.

Identifying the new species of semi-aquatic bugs saw Tom Weir, CSIRO Entomology, and Nils Andersen, Copenhagen University, examine more than 45,000 specimens from around Australia.


"Despite living on the world’s driest continent, Australia’s water bugs are as numerous as they are diverse," Mr Tom Weir said. "The 58 new species of semi-aquatic bugs we have discovered and described adds to our knowledge of Australia’s biodiversity and increases the pool of knowledge about the world’s insect species."

Water bugs are a key part of aquatic ecosystems and also provide benefits to humans since many species prey on mosquitoes and are themselves a food source for fish. In some cases water bugs can prove useful in monitoring the quality of some aquatic environments.

Tom’s interest in water bugs began in the 1960s when he realised there were more water bugs ’out there’ than had been described in the literature. His journey to discover and describe Australia’s water bugs has taken him across flooded parts of central Australia, remote locations in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia as well as mangrove swamps and costal areas.

’The most hazardous places to collect water bugs are the billabongs of northern Australia. I was often startled by crocodiles entering the water from their resting places while I was netting insects nearby," Tom said.

Australian Water Bugs: Their Biology and Identification is the first comprehensive book about Australian water bugs and is now available from CSIRO Publishing. The authors, Tom Weir and Nils Andersen, have collected and studied water bugs in Australia’s diverse aquatic habitats for a combined 80 years.

Copies are available by contacting CSIRO Publishing on either: 1300 788 000 (toll free in Australia); +613 9662 7666, email: publishing.sales@csiro.au; or by visiting: www.publish.csiro.au

The Carlsberg Foundation was a supporter of the research which contributed to Australian Water Bugs.

More information:
Jennifer Griggs, CSIRO Publishing, 03 9662 7645
Media assistance and images available from:
Paul Dobson, CSIRO Entomology, 02 6246 4375

Geraldine Capp | CSIRO
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au/index.asp?type=mediaRelease&id=PrWaterbugs2

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>