I keep a mental list of places in the world to never go, and one of those is Brazil, thanks to the existence of the terrifying Brazilian wandering spider. Trust me, it's awful. I'm afraid I now have to add Papua New Guinea and Thailand to the list, because of three new species of parasitoid wasps that entomologists have recently discovered in those countries. But we discover new species all the time. Here's what's different about these three: They're named after pop culture icons, like Uma Thurman's character in the Kill Bill movies.
Ants do all sorts of things we think of as human activities. Some of them are kind of endearing, like keeping farms of aphids. Others remind us of our ugly side, and none more so than the work of Protomognathus americanus, the American slavemaker ant, which has evolved to stop foraging for food, and instead steal larvae from the colonies of other ant species, and then raise them as slaves. A recent study demonstrated that, unlike some newscasters we know, enslaved ants don't take life in captivity lying down, instead working to destroy the slavemaker colony and killing up to three out of four of their captors' children.
The Semachrysa jade, a type of lacewing indigenous to the jungles of Malaysia, was only recently confirmed to be an entirely new species. The story of how scientists came to find the insect, first published in the newest issue of academic journal Zookeys last month, explains that the little bug wasn't actually discovered in the wild -- but on the Internet.