Nikolai Tatarnic

Curator of Entomology

Terrestrial Zoology

B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Nikolai Tatarnic


(08) 9212 3791


  • Taxonomy and systematics of insects, focusing on Heteroptera (True Bugs)
  • Sexual selection and insect mating systems
  • X-Ray microtomography of insects and other invertebrates


  • Develops the Museum’s collections through targeted fieldwork and collaborations with other organisations.

Services (to other bodies):

  • Council member of the Society for Australian Systematic Biologists (SASB)
  • Subject editor for the journal Austral Entomology
  • Member of the Australian Biological Resources Study Bush Blitz Scientific Reference Group
  • Member of National Imaging Facility (NIF) Animal, Plants and Materials Theme Group

Adjunct/Honourary positions:

  • Adjunct Lecturer, Centre for Evolutionary Biology, University of Western Australia
  • Research Associate, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada

Exhibitions and Public Programs

  • Presents talks and provides media coverage of research on evolution and insects.
  • Develops gallery displays
  • Co-supervisor to honours and post-graduate students at local and national universities.

Selected Publications

Nikolai’s full publication list can be found here


2017 – present

Tatarnic, N.J. (2022). A new genus and species of stilt bug (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Berytidae) from Western Australia. Austral Entomology 61(1): 29-36.

Tatarnic, N.J. and Cassis, G. (2022). Turrana ejuncida, A new species of Acanthocorini (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Coreidae) from Cape Range, Western Australia, with discussion of its systematic position and host plant associations. Zootaxa 5092(1): 85-96.

Song, H., Muschett, G.R., Woller, D.A., Slatyer, R.A., Tatarnic, N.J., and Umbers, K.D.L. (2021). Taxonomic notes on the Australian skyhopper genus Kosciuscola Sjöstedt (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oxyinae). Zootaxa 5071(1): 118-130.

Semple, T.L., Vidal-Garcia, M., Tatarnic, N.J. and Peakall, R. (2021). Evolution of reproductive structures for in-flight mating in thynnine wasps (Hymenoptera: Thynnidae: Thynninae). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 34(9): 1406-1422.

Umbers , K., Slatyer , R., Tatarnic , N.J., Muschett , G., Wang , S. and Song, H. (2021). Phylogenetics of the skyhoppers (Kosciuscola) of the Australian Alps: evolutionary and conservation implications. Pacific Conservation Biology (early online)

Darling, DC and Tatarnic, NJ (2020). On the horns of a dilemma: toward a better understanding of the Monacon species (Hymenoptera: Perilampidae) of Borneo. Journal of Natural History 54(9-12): 723-734.

Kelley, JL, Tatarnic, NJ, Schröder-Turk, GE, Endler, JA and Wilts, BD (2019). A dynamic optical signal in a nocturnal moth. Current Biology 29(17): 2919-2925.

Layton, KKS, Middlefart, PU, Tatarnic, NJ and Wilson, NG (2019). Erecting a new family for Spirostyliferina, a truncatelloidean microgastropod, and further insights into truncatelloidean phylogeny. Zoologica Scripta 48(6): 727-744.

Mikó, I, Rahman, SR, Anzaldo, SS, van de Kamp, T, Parslow, BA, Tatarnic, NJ, Wetherington, MT, Anderson, J, Schilder, RJ, Ulmer, JM, Deans, AR and Hines, HM (2019). Fat in the leg: function of the expanded hind leg in gasteruptiid wasps (Hymenoptera: Gasteruptiidae). Insect Systematics and Diversity 3(1): 1-16.

Semple, TL, Peakall, R and Tatarnic, NJ (2019). A comprehensive and user‐friendly framework for 3D‐data visualisation in invertebrates and other organisms. Journal of Morphology 280(2): 223-231.

Siversson, M, Cook, TD, Ryan, HE, Watkins, DK, Tatarnic, NJ, Downes, PJ and Newbrey, M.G. (2019). Anacoracid sharks and calcareous nannofossil stratigraphy of the mid-Cretaceous ‘upper’ Gearle Siltstone and Haycock Marl in the lower Murchison River area, Western Australia. Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology 43(1), 85-113.

Tatarnic, N. J. (2018). Traumatic Insemination and Copulatory Wounding. Reference Module in Life Sciences (published online 14 Sept 2018)

Somjee, U., Miller, C. W., Tatarnic, N. J. and Simmons, L. W. (2018). Experimental manipulation reveals a trade-off between weapons and testes. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 31(1): 57-65.

Cassis, G., Hodgins, M., Weir, T. A. and Tatarnic, N. (2018). Phylogenetic reclassification and genitalic morphology of the small water strider genus Nesidovelia Andersen & Weir and allied Microveliinae (Hemiptera: Veliidae). Austral Entomology 57(1): 97-106

Mahoney, P. C., Tatarnic, N. J., O'Hanlon, J. C. and Umbers, K. D. L. (2017). Mate guarding and male mate choice in the chameleon grasshopper Kosciuscola tristis (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Journal of Ethology 35(2): 197-201.

Selected publications (pre-2017)

Tatarnic NJ, Cassis. G and Siva-Jothy, MT (2014). Traumatic insemination in terrestrial arthropods. Annual Review of Entomology 59: 245–261.

Tatarnic NJ and Cassis, G (2013). Surviving in sympatry: paragenital divergence and sexual mimicry between a pair of traumatically inseminating plant bugs. American Naturalist 182: 542–551.

Tatarnic NJ, Umbers, KDL, and Song, H (2013). Molecular phylogeny of the Kosciuscola grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) endemic to the Australian alpine and montane regions. Invertebrate Systematics 27: 307–316.

Tatarnic, NJ and Cassis, G (2013). Description of eight new species of the traumatically inseminating plant bug genus Coridromius (Heteroptera: Miridae: Orthotylinae: Coridromini).  European Journal of Taxonomy 35: 1-24.

Tatarnic, NJ and Spence, JR (2013). Courtship and mating in the crusader bug, Mictis profana Fabricius. Australian Journal of Entomology52: 151–155.

Umbers, KDL, Tatarnic, NJ, Holwell, GI and Herberstein, ME (2013). Bright turquoise as an intraspecific signal in the chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 67: 439–447.

Tatarnic, N.J. (2012). Mafulemesa schuhi (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Emesinae), a new species from Australia. Entomologica Americana 118: 274–277.

Umbers, KDL, Tatarnic, NJ, Holwell, GI, and Herberstein, ME (2012). Ferocious fighting between male grasshoppers. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49600 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049600

Bath, E., Tatarnic, N.J. and Bonduriansky, R. (2012). Asymmetric reproductive isolation and interference in neriid flies: the roles of genital morphology and behaviour. Animal Behaviour 84(6): 1331–1339.

Tatarnic, N.J. and Cassis, G. (2012). The Halticini of the world (Insecta: Heteroptera: Miridae: Orthotylinae): generic reclassification, phylogeny, and host plant associations. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 164: 558–658.

Cassis, G. Cheng, M. and Tatarnic, N.J. (2012). Systematics of the plantbug genus Irianocoris Carvalho (Insecta: Heteroptera: Miridae: Orthotylinae: Austromirini). Entomologica Americana 118: 157–176.

Tatarnic, N.J. and Cassis, G. (2011). The thread–legged bugs (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Emesinae) of Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. Zootaxa 2967: 21–43.

Tatarnic, N.J., Wall, M. A., and Cassis, G. (2011). A systematic revision of the Australian ploiarioline thread–legged assassin bus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Emesinae). Zootaxa 2762: 1–30.

Cassis, G., Tatarnic, N. and Symonds, C. (2011). Systematics of Kundakimuka Cassis from the eastern hemisphere (Heteroptera: Miridae: Deraeocorinae: Termatophylini). Heteropterus Revista de Entomologia 11: 215–225.

Tatarnic, N.J. and Cassis, G. (2010). Sexual coevolution in the traumatically inseminating plant bug genus CoridromiusJournal of Evolutionary Biology 23:1321–1326.

Cassis, G., Symonds, C. and Tatarnic, N. (2010). A remarkable new species of stone–dwelling Orthotylini (Heteroptera: Miridae: Orthotylinae) from Australia. Zootaxa 2485: 58–68.

Tatarnic, N. J. 2009. Dampierella and Goodeniaphila: two new genera and three new species of Halticini from Australia, with a species key to the Halticini of Australia (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Orthotylinae). Zootaxa 2105: 43-60.

Tatarnic, N. J. and Cassis, G. 2008. Revision of the plant bug genus Coridromius Signoret (Insecta: Heteroptera: Miridae). Nulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 315: 1-95.

Schwartz, M. D., Schuh, R.T. and Tatarnic, N. 2008. A new genus and species of Halticini from South Africa (Hemiptera: Miridae). African Entomology 16(1): 23-32.

Schwartz, M. D. and Tatarnic, N. 2008. Nesidiorchestes hawaiiensis Kirkaldy: new tribal assignment and lectotype designation (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Miridae: Orthotylinae: Orthotylini) Zootaxa 1677(1): 57-68.

Tatarnic, NJ, Cassis, G and Hochuli, DF (2006). Traumatic insemination in the plant bug genus Coridromius Signoret (Heteroptera: Miridae). Biology Letters 2(1): 58-61.