Squat lobster Galacantha subspinosa is one species newly recorded for Australian waters. Its spectacular colouring is not uncommon among the squat lobsters.
MV researcher Dr Jo Taylor recently documented 10 species of squat lobsters along the continental margin of Western Australia, including two species that are new to science and six that are recorded for the first time from Australian waters.
Jo has named one of the new species, Munidopsis comarge, in recognition of the Census of Marine Life Project: Continental Margin Ecosystems (COMARGE) that funded her postdoctoral fellowship.
Species of the genus Munidopsis are typical animals of the deep sea. The genus is one of the most diverse and species-rich of all the squat lobsters, including more than 225 species from oceans worldwide. Munidopsis species are commonly distributed from the lower continental shelf, usually deeper than 500 m, and around 20 per cent of species are known to occur on the abyssal plain at depths greater than 3000 m. One has even been recorded from the wreck of the Titanic!
This new species publication coincides with the release of the Census of Marine Life's 'A Decade of Discovery' - the culmination of ten years of collaboration between 2700 scientists from over 80 nations worldwide to uncover the extraordinary diversity and abundance of life in the sea. MV's Tim O'Hara and Gary Poore attended the celebrations in London this month.
Jo's paper, 'New records and new species of the munidopsine squat lobsters (Decapoda: Anomura: Galatheidae: Munidopsinae) from Australia', is co-authored by Shane Ahyong from the Australian Museum and Nikos Andreakis from the Australian Institute of Marine Science. It is published in the journal Zootaxa today.