• The barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus (Darwin, 1854), and the mitten crab Eriocheir: one invasive species getting off on another!

      Naser, M; Rainbow, P; Clark, P; Yasser, A; Jones, D (Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre, 2015-06-16)
    • Bear wasps of the Middle Kingdom: a decade of discovering China's bumblebees

      Williams, PH; Huang, J; An, J (Royal Entomological Society, 2017-04-01)
      Bumble bees are well known for being among the most important pollinators in the world’s north-temperate regions. Perhaps more surprisingly, half of the world’s bumble bee species are concentrated in just one country, China. With an area only slightly smaller than the U.S., China has almost three times as many species.
    • Bees, wasps, flowers and other biological records from Hartslock Nature Reserve, Berkshire UK: records made 2015-2016

      Notton, DG (Natural History Museum, 2018-07-20)
      Abstract: A list of records of bees, wasps, and the flowers they visit and other biological records recorded during 2015-2016 from Hartslock Nature Reserve, Berkshire UK and vicinity. Collections were made in order to provide fresh material for DNA sequencing for a national DNA barcode database of British Bees (Tang et al., 2017). Voucher specimens are preserved in the collection of the Natural HIstory Museum London. Hartslock is a Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) managed by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT).
    • Beyond dead trees: integrating the scientific process in the Biodiversity Data Journal

      Smith, V; Georgiev, T; Stoev, P; Biserkov, J; Miller, J; Livermore, L; Baker, E; Mietchen, D; Couvreur, T; Mueller, G; et al. (2013-09-16)
    • Beyond the EDGE with EDAM: Prioritising British Plant Species According to Evolutionary Distinctiveness, and Accuracy and Magnitude of Decline

      Pearse, WD; Chase, MW; Crawley, MJ; Dolphin, K; Fay, MF; Joseph, JA; Powney, G; Preston, CD; Rapacciuolo, G; Roy, DB; et al. (2015-05-27)
    • Beyond the “Code”: A Guide to the Description and Documentation of Biodiversity in Ciliated Protists (Alveolata, Ciliophora)

      Warren, A; Patterson, DJ; Dunthorn, M; Clamp, JC; Achilles-Day, UEM; Aescht, E; Al-Farraj, SA; Al-Quraishy, S; Al-Rasheid, K; Carr, M; et al. (2017-07)
    • Bidirectional Introgressive Hybridization between a Cattle and Human Schistosome Species

      Huyse, T; Webster, BL; Geldof, S; Stothard, JR; Diaw, OT; Polman, K; Rollinson, D; Kazura, JW (PLOS, 2009-09-04)
      Schistosomiasis is a disease of great medical and veterinary importance in tropical and subtropical regions, caused by parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma (subclass Digenea). Following major water development schemes in the 1980s, schistosomiasis has become an important parasitic disease of children living in the Senegal River Basin (SRB). During molecular parasitological surveys, nuclear and mitochondrial markers revealed unexpected natural interactions between a bovine and human Schistosoma species: S. bovis and S. haematobium, respectively. Hybrid schistosomes recovered from the urine and faeces of children and the intermediate snail hosts of both parental species, Bulinus truncatus and B. globosus, presented a nuclear ITS rRNA sequence identical to S. haematobium, while the partial mitochondrial cox1 sequence was identified as S. bovis. Molecular data suggest that the hybrids are not 1st generation and are a result of parental and/or hybrid backcrosses, indicating a stable hybrid zone. Larval stages with the reverse genetic profile were also found and are suggested to be F1 progeny. The data provide indisputable evidence for the occurrence of bidirectional introgressive hybridization between a bovine and a human Schistosoma species. Hybrid species have been found infecting B. truncatus, a snail species that is now very abundant throughout the SRB. The recent increase in urinary schistosomiasis in the villages along the SRB could therefore be a direct effect of the increased transmission through B. truncatus. Hybridization between schistosomes under laboratory conditions has been shown to result in heterosis (higher fecundity, faster maturation time, wider intermediate host spectrum), having important implications on disease prevalence, pathology and treatment. If this new hybrid exhibits the same hybrid vigour, it could develop into an emerging pathogen, necessitating further control strategies in zones where both parental species overlap.
    • BioAcoustica: a free and open repository and analysis platform for bioacoustics

      Baker, E; Price, BW; Rycroft, SD; Hill, J; Smith, V (2015-01-01)
    • The biology of Death’s Head Hawkmoths, lepidopteran kleptoparasites of honey bees

      Kitching, I (Natural History Museum, 2006-06)
      This booklet gives basic information on the death's head hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos, including its feeding biology, life history, geographical distribution in the world, phylogenetics, and the evolutionary and behavioural relationship it has with honey bees.
    • A black page in the French partridge's history: the melanistic variety of Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa

      van Grouw, H; Besson, L; Mellier, B (The British Ornithologists' Club, 2018-12-14)
      The melanistic variety of Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa was described from a small population in western France around the 1850s. In this region, Red-legged Partridge population as a whole was hunted, but melanistic individuals were targeted for both private and museum bird collections, and by 1865 the variety was extinct in western France. An extensive search for extant specimens documented 13 melanistic birds in six museums, and their details are presented here. Remarkably, some of these specimens were collected in areas elsewhere in France or even in other countries. After 1915, the allele for melanism appears to have been lost within the Red-legged Partridge population as a whole, and we discuss possible reasons for this.
    • Bone-Eating Worms Spread: Insights into Shallow-Water Osedax (Annelida, Siboglinidae) from Antarctic, Subantarctic, and Mediterranean Waters

      Taboada, S; Riesgo, A; Bas, M; Arnedo, MA; Cristobo, J; Rouse, GW; Avila, C; Kiel, S (2015-11-18)
    • Boris Vasil’evich Skvortzov (1896–1980): notes on his life, family and scientific studies

      Williams, DM; Gololobova, M; Glebova, E (Taylor & Francis, 2016-08-15)
      A short account of the life of Boris Vasil’evich Skvortzov (1896–1980) is presented. Some details of his background, his family and his legacy are documented. A short summary of his achievements are included.
    • Brazilian Flora 2020: innovation and collaboration to meet Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC)

      Brazil Flora Group (BFG); Knapp, S (Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, 2018-10-26)
      The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) was established by the Conference of Parties in 2002 to decrease the loss of plant diversity, reduce poverty and contribute to sustainable development. To achieve this overarching goal, the GSPC has established a series of targets, one of which is to ensure that plant diversity is well understood, so that it can be effectively conserved and used in a sustainable manner. Brazil hosts more than 46,000 species of plants, algae and fungi, representing one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth, and playing a key role in the GSPC. To meet the GSPC goals of Target 1 and facilitate access to plant diversity, Brazil committed to preparing the List of Species of the Brazilian Flora (2008–2015) and the Brazilian Flora 2020 (2016–present). Managing all the information associated with such great biodiversity has proven to be an extremely challenging task. Here, we synthesize the history of these projects, focusing on the multidisciplinary and collaborative approach adopted to develop and manage the inclusion of all the knowledge generated though digital information systems. We further describe the methods used, challenges faced, and strategies adopted, as well as summarize advances to date and prospects for completing the Brazilian flora in 2020.
    • Bridging the Skills Gap in UK Species Identification: Lessons Learnt & Next Steps

      West, SVL; Tweddle, JC (National Biodiversity Network, 2017-11-17)
      As the Identification Trainers for the Future project draws to a close, we take this opportunity to reflect on what we have learnt from the project and where the Natural History Museum is heading next in terms of supporting UK natural history skills development.
    • The British species of Enicospilus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Ophioninae)

      Shaw, MR; Broad, G (Consortium of European Natural History Museums, 2016-04-04)
      The nine British and Irish species of Enicospilus are revised, mapped and an identification key provided. One species, Enicospilus myricae sp. nov., is described as new; Enicospilus merdarius (Gravenhorst, 1829) is a senior synonym of E. tournieri (Vollenhoven, 1879) syn. nov.; the only available name for E. merdarius auctt. is Enicospilus adustus (Haller, 1885) stat. rev., and a neotype is designated for Ophion adustus Haller, 1885. Enicospilus cerebrator Aubert, 1969 and E. repentinus (Holmgren, 1860) are newly recorded from Britain. Some host data are available for eight of the nine species.
    • Bumblebees take the high road: climatically integrative biogeography shows that escape from Tibet, not Tibetan uplift, is associated with divergences of present-day Mendacibombus

      Williams, PH; Lobo, JM; Meseguer, AS (Wiley, 2018-03)
      Many claims that uplift of the Qinghai‐Tibetan plateau (QTP) drove the divergences of extant high‐elevation biota have recently been challenged. For Mendacibombus bumblebees, high‐elevation specialists with distributions centred on the QTP, we examine broader explanations. We extend integrative biogeography to cover multiple contributing factors by using a framework of sequential filters: 1) molecular evidence from four genes is used to estimate phylogenetic relationships, with time calibration from a published estimate; 2) spatial evidence from current distributions is combined with the phylogeny and constrained by a model of short‐distance dispersal along mountain corridors to estimate ancestral distributions by both S‐DIVA and S‐DEC analysis; 3) geological evidence from the literature is used to constrain when high mountain ranges were uplifted to become potential corridors; and 4) climatological evidence from Mendacibombus niche‐evolution reconstructions and from palaeoclimate simulations is used to constrain when habitat was suitable in key gaps within corridors. Explanations for Mendacibombus distributions can be identified that require only short‐distance dispersal along mountain corridors, commensurate with the limited dispersal ability observed for bumblebees. These explanations depend on the timing of uplift of mountain ranges, regional climate change, and climate‐niche evolution. The uplift of the QTP may have contributed to the initial Oligocene divergence of the common ancestor of Mendacibombus from other bumblebees, but for the first two thirds of the history of Mendacibombus, only a single lineage has present‐day descendants. Divergence of multiple extant Mendacibombus lineages coincided with the Late Miocene–Pliocene uplift of externally connecting mountains, combined with regional climate cooling. These changes provided greater connectivity of suitable habitat, allowing these bumblebees to disperse out of the western QTP via new high bridges, escaping along the mountain corridors of the Tian Shan and Hindu Kush ranges, reaching eventually far to the west (Iberian Peninsula) and to the north‐east (Kamchatka).
    • Burmese amber fossils bridge the gap in the Cretaceous record of polypod ferns

      Schmidt, AR; Heinrichs, J; Schneider, Harald (2016-02)
    • Bye-bye dark sky: is light pollution costing us more than just the night-time?

      Lotzof, K; Van Grouw, H; West, S (Natural History Museum, 2018-10-23)
      Humans, birds and several other animals are finding it increasingly challenging to experience night-time uninterrupted by artificial light, while some creatures are handling the change better than others. Hein van Grouw, Senior Curator of Birds, and UK Biodiversity Training Manager Steph West reveal the impacts of light pollution on British wildlife and a few tips for reclaiming your slice of the night sky.
    • Calculating the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infection through pooling of stool samples: Choosing and optimizing the pooling strategy

      Truscott, James; Dunn, Julia; PAPAIAKOVOU, MARINA; Schaer, Fabian; Werkman, Marleen; Littlewood, T; Walson, JL; Anderson, Roy (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2019-03-21)
      Prevalence is a common epidemiological measure for assessing soil-transmitted helminth burden and forms the basis for much public-health decision-making. Standard diagnostic techniques are based on egg detection in stool samples through microscopy and these techniques are known to have poor sensitivity for individuals with low infection intensity, leading to poor sensitivity in low prevalence populations. PCR diagnostic techniques offer very high sensitivities even at low prevalence, but at a greater cost for each diagnostic test in terms of equipment needed and technician time and training. Pooling of samples can allow prevalence to be estimated while minimizing the number of tests performed. We develop a model of the relative cost of pooling to estimate prevalence, compared to the direct approach of testing all samples individually. Analysis shows how expected elative cost depends on both the underlying prevalence in the population and the size of the pools constructed. A critical prevalence level (approx. 31%) above which pooling is never cost effective, independent of pool size. When no prevalence information is available, there is no basis on which to choose between pooling and testing all samples individually. We recast our model of relative cost in a Bayesian framework in order to investigate how prior information about prevalence in a given population can be used to inform the decision to choose either pooling or full testing. Results suggest that if prevalence is below 10%, a relatively small exploratory prevalence survey (10–15 samples) can be sufficient to give a high degree of certainty that pooling may be relatively cost effective.