Author Archives: Piter Keo

About Piter Keo

PhD in Biology working with ecology, behavior and taxonomy of land planarians. I love biology, astronomy, languages and mythology, among other things.

Friday Fellow: Lignano’s Macrostomum

by Piter Kehoma Boll

It’s time to come back to the fascinating flatworms and today I decided to talk about one of the most studied species in this group even though it was only formally described 15 years ago. Its name is Macrostomum lignano, or the Lignano’s macrostomum.

Macrostomum lignano.Photo by Lukas Schärer,**

Measuring 1 to 2 mm in length, the Lignano’s macrostomum belongs to the order Macrostomida, one of the basalmost flatworm groups. Its body is elongate and transparent, there are two small eyes close to the anterior end, which has a small rostrum (“snout”). The mouth is a little behind the rostrum. The posterior end is broad, forming a tail plate with many adhesive organs arranged in a U-shape.

Basic morphology of the Lignano’s macrostomum. Credits to Lengerer et al. (2014).*

The Lignano’s macrostomum was first collected in marine samples in the city of Lignano on the Adriatic Sea coast in northern Italy in 1995 and soon revealed to be very suitable for laboratory cultures. The natural environment of this species includes the sand and other sediments near the shore. It avoids light and, when at rest, remains attached to the substrate by its tail plate. It feeds on small organism, especially diatoms, which it ingests using its cylindrical pharynx, similarly to how most flatworms eat.

Also like most flatworms, the Lignano’s macrostomum and other macrostomids have special stem cells called neoblasts that fill their body. All differentiated cells in the body come from neoblasts and are continuously replaced by them, since its differentiated cells cannot continue reproducing. Neoblasts also give the Lignano’s macrostomum an impressive regenerative ability like that of many other flatworms such as planarians.

Even before its formal description in 2005, the Lignano’s macrostomum had already been identified as a potentially new model organism. It can be easily cultured in laboratory in Petri dishes and fed with diatoms. Its body has about 25,000 cells, which is a number small enough to facilitate studies on development, regeneration, ageing and gene expression and that is exactly what has been done in the past decades.

The Lignano’s macrostomum is hermaphrodite. The body contains two testes and two ovaries. The male copulatory apparatus contains a stylet, a hardened penis-like copulatory organ. When two macrostomums mate, they touch their ventral surfaces in a yin yang fashion (just like the guys from last week) and exchange sperm. This behavior is easily observed in laboratory and led the Lignano’s macrostomum to become a model organism for the study of sexual selection as well. But wait! Sexual selection in a hermaphrodite organism? Yes! I discussed this topic some time ago here.

Macrostomum lignano, reciprocal mating behaviour
Two Lignano’s macrostomums mating in the yin yang position. Photo by Lukas Schärer.***

Sometimes, when two macrostomums meet, they don’t find their partner that attractive, so having their eggs fertilized by that guy is not of their interest from the female side. However, their male side is still as male as any other and they want to fertilize as many eggs as possible. As a result, if the partner is not good enough, they still want it as a female but not as a male. The other guys is not interesting in being a female only though, so copulation only occurs if both partners accept to receive each other sperm. “I let you fertilize my eggs if you let me fertilize yours.” So that’s what they do.

A pair of flatworms, Macrostomum lignano, mating. See how the white one, in the end, bends over itself and sucks the other guy’s sperm out of the female pore in order to get rid of it. Notice, however, in the last drawing, that the sperm cells are still attached to the female pore. It did not work. Image extracted from Schärer et al. (2004).

However, after they delivered the sperm into each other’s body, they separate and may never see each other again. So the female side evolved a strategy to select better sperm. When the “bad partner” moves away, a macrostomum that received low-quality sperm bends over itself, connects its pharynx to its female genital pore, and sucks the other guy’s sperm out before it has the chance to fertilize its eggs. A clever strategy, right? But remember: just as this guy is getting rid of the other guy’s sperm, the other guy may be doing the same with this guy’s sperm. So a strategy must evolve to prevent the female personality to discard the sperm. And that is exactly what happened! The sperm cells of the Lignano’s macrostomum have hard bristles pointing backward that, when the cells is pulled back, enter the tissues in the female copulatory apparatus and remain stuck. Trying to pull them out is just like trying to pull porcupine quills out of the skin.

Watch the behavior in video.

Now the male side recovered the advantage that the female side would have if the bristles were not there. But this is evolution, and its effect on hermaphrodites is like having two different personalities fighting each other in the same body.

Life is not easy anywhere.

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References and further reading:

Egger B, Ladurner P, Nimeth K, Gschwentner R, Rieger R (2006) The regeneration capacity of the flatworm Macrostomum lignano—on repeated regeneration, rejuvenation, and the minimal size needed for regeneration. Development Genes and Evolution 216:565–577. doi: 10.1007/s00427-006-0069-4

Ladurner P, Schärer L, Salvenmoser W, Rieger RM (2005) A new model organism among the lower Bilateria and the use of digital microscopy in taxonomy of meiobenthic Platyhelminthes: Macrostomum lignano, n. sp. (Rhabditophora, Macrostomorpha). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 43(2):114–126. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0469.2005.00299.x

Lengerer B, Pjeta R, Wunderer J et al. (2014) Biological adhesion of the flatworm Macrostomum lignano relies on a duo-gland system and is mediated by a cell type-specific intermediate filament protein. Frontiers in Zoology 11:12. doi: 10.1186/1742-9994-11-12

Mouton S, Willems M, Braeckman BP, Egger B, Ladurner P, Schärer L, Borgonie G (2009) The free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano: A new model organism for ageing research. Experimental Gerontology 44(4):243–249. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2008.11.007

Pfister D, De Mulder K, Hartenstein V et al. (2008) Flatworm stem cells and the germ line: Developmental and evolutionary implications of macvasa expression in Macrostomum lignano. Developmental Biology 319(1):146–159. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.02.045

Pfister D, De Mulder K, Philipp I et al. (2007) The exceptional stem cell system of Macrostomum lignano: Screening for gene expression and studying cell proliferation by hydroxyurea treatment and irradiation. Frontiers in Zoology 4:9. doi: 10.1186/1742-9994-4-9

Schärer L, Joss G, Sandner P (2004). Mating behaviour of the marine turbellarian Macrostomum sp.: these worms suck, Marine Biology 145 (2) doi: 10.1007/s00227-004-1314-x

Wasik K, Gurtowski J, Zhou X et al. (2015) Genome and transcriptome of the regeneration-competent flatworm, Macrostomum lignano. PNAS 112(40):12462–12467. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1516718112

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New Species: March 2020

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Here is a list of species described this month. It certainly does not include all described species. You can see the list of Journals used in the survey of new species here.

Bacteria

Archaeans

SARs

Phoebe hekouensis is a new magnoliid from China. Credits to Liu et al. (2020).*

Plants

Pinguicula rosmariae is a new butterwort from Peru. Credits to Casper et al. (2020).*

Fungi

Ochraceocephala foeniculi is a new fungus that attacks fennel plants in Italy. Credits to Aiello et al. (2020).*
Lyomyces cremeus is a new wood-inhabiting fungus from China. Credits to Chen & Zhao (2020).*

Sponges

Chrysogorgia gracilis is a new coral from the Pacific. Credits to Xu et al. (2020).*

Cnidarians

Flatworms

Temnocephala ivandarioi is a new temnocephalan from the freshwater crab Valdivia serrata from Colombia. Credits to Lenis et al. (2020).*

Gastrotrichs

Rotiferans

Mollusks

Annelids

Bryozoans

Nematodes

Tardigrades

Echiniscus masculinus is a new water bear from Borneo. Credits to Gąsiorek et al. (2020).*

Chelicerates

Parobisium motianense is a new pseudoscorpion from China. Credits to Feng et al. (2020).*

Myriapods

Epimeria liui is a new amphipod from the Pacific. Credits to Wang et al. (2020).*

Crustaceans

Chlidopnoptera roxanae is a new mantis from the Central African Republic. Credits to Moulin (2020).*
Rustitermes boteroi is a new termite from South America. Credits to Castro et al. (2020).*

Hexapods

Didymocorypha libaii is a new mantis from China. Credits to Wu & Liu (2020).*

Echinoderms

Cirripectes matatakaro is a new blenny from the Central Pacific. Credits to Hoban & Williams (2020).*

Actinopterygians

Phrynobatrachus arcanus is a new critically endangered frog from Cameroon. Credits to Gvoždík et al. (2020).*

Amphibians

Smaug swazicus is a new lizard from southern Africa. Credits to Bates & Stantley (2020).*

Reptiles

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*Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Filed under Systematics, taxonomy

Friday Fellow: Japanese Sea Firefly

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Japanese sea waters can emit a beautiful blue light at night, especially when disturbed. This phenomenon is caused by bioluminescent organism. One of the most famous species that produce light in the sea is the sea sparkle, a dinoflagellate. Here, however, the light is caused by a crustacean, the ostracod Vargula hilgendorfii, known in Japan as 海蛍 (umihotaru, literally “sea firefly”). Thus, the name sea firefly is commonly used to refer to the bioluminescent ostracods of the genus Vargula, most of which live along the North American Pacific coast and the Caribbbean, with Vargula hilgendorfii being the only species to occur in Japan.

Liquid light on a Japanese beach. Photo by Tdub Photo extracted from Kobi Lighting Studio.

As all ostracods, the Japanese firefly is a very small crustacean. Their body measure about 2–3 mm in length and have proportionally large eyes with about 0.2 mm in diameter. They live in the sandy substrate of shallow waters up to 5 m deep, being, therefore, benthonic, and have nocturnal habits.

A male Japanese sea firefly. The black spot is the eye. Extracted from Ogoh & Ohmiya (2005).

The areas where the Japanese sea firefly is found are marked by very strong currents. Since they have a very poor swimming ability, they are not very good to disperse to new areas but at least are able to swim well enough to avoid being carried far away by the currents. Nevertheless, the strong Japan Current seems to have slowly moved the species northward since the last ice age.

Female Japanese sea fireflies are slightly larger than males. When they copulate, they pair by touching their ventral sides while lying in opposite directions, kind of like a yin yang. Being an ovoviviparous species, the eggs remain inside the mother until they hatch, so that the female gives birth to live juveniles. Newborns are much smaller than adults, of course, but otherwise behave exactly like them, so that this species does not have a planktonic larval stage like most crustaceans.

Individual animals glowing on the sand. Photo by Tdub Photo extracted from Kobi Lighting Studio.

The diet of the Japanese sea firefly is composed mainly of debris of all sorts, including dead animals. One of the easiest ways to capture them is simply by placing dead fish as traps in the water at night and waiting for them to come.

When the Japanese sea firefly is disturbed or attacked, it releases a luminous blue cloud. This happens by the ejection of two compounds, the substrate luciferin and its enzyme, luciferase. Luciferase catalyzes the reaction of luciferin with molecular oxygen, which emits the characteristic blue light. There is a reflecting organ near the posterior end of the animal that seems to increase the power of the emitted light, which may improve their ability to escape from predators.

The natural mirror in the Japanese sea firefly’s body can enhance its light. Extracted from Abe et al. (2000).

Luciferase enzymes are of research interest especially as reporter genes. When scientists want to know whether a specific gene is being expressed in an organism, they can attach another gene right after it so that this gene will necessarily be expressed together with the gene of interest. The luciferase of the Japanese sea firefly, usually named Vargula luciferase, has been studied as a reporter gene in mammals. After creating the chain formed by the gene of interest + luciferase and inserting it into a cell, one can know whether the gene is being expressed by applying luciferin to the cells. If they glow blue this means that the gene is indeed being expressed.

As you can see, even a tiny sea creature can have a profound influence on scientific research.

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More Ostracods:

Friday Fellow: Sharp-Toothed Venus Seed Shrimp (on 22 June 2018)

Friday Fellow: Stonewort Seed Shrimp (on 19 July 2019)

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References and further reading:

Abe K, Ono T, Yamada K, Yamamura N, Ikuta K (2000) Multifunctions of the upper lip and a ventral reflecting organ in a bioluminescent ostracod Vargula hilgendorfii (Müller, 1890). Hydrobiologia 419: 73–82. doi: 10.1023/A:1003998327116

Abe K, Vannier J (1995) Functional morphology and significance of the circulatory system of Ostracoda, exemplified by Vargula hilgendorfii (Myodocopida). Marine Biology 124: 51–58. doi: 10.1007/BF00349146

Kobayashi K, Ohmiya Y, Shinohara D, Nabetani T, Niwa H (2001) Purification and properties of the luciferase from the marine ostracod Vargula hilgendorfii. Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Bioluminescence & Chemiluminescence: 87–90.

Maeda Y, Ueda H, Hara T, Kazami J, Kawano G, Suzuki E, Nagamune T (1996) Expression of a Bifunctional Chimeric Protein A-Vargula hilgendorfii Luciferase in Mammalian Cells. BioTechniques 20: 116–121. doi: 10.2144/96201rr01

Ogoh K, Ohmiya Y (2005) Biogeography of Luminous Marine Ostracod Driven Irreversibly by the Japan Current. Molecular Biology and Evolution 22(7): 1543–1545. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msi155

Thompson EM, Nagata S, Tsuji FI (1989) Cloning and expression of cDNA for the luciferase from the marine ostracod Vargula hilgendorfii. PNAS 86(17): 6567–6571. doi: 10.1073/pnas.86.17.6567

Thompson EM, Nagata S, Tsuji FI (1990) Vargula hilgendorfii luciferase: a secreted reporter enzyme for monitoring gene expression in mammalian cells. Gene 96(2): 257–262. doi: 10.1016/0378-1119(90)90261-O

Vannier J, Abe K (1993) Functional Morphology and Behavior of Vargula Hilgendor Fii (Ostracoda: Myodocopida) From Japan, and Discussion of Its Crustacean Ectoparasites: Preliminary Results From Video Recordings. Journal of Crustacean Biology 13(1): 51–76. doi: 10.1163/193724093X00444

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Friday Fellow: Grasshopper Nematode

by Piter Kehoma Boll

About one and a half year ago, I presented the long and thread-like wood cricket’s worm, a parasite that can control the behavior of the wood cricket and leaves its body once becoming an adult. The wood cricket’s worm belongs to the phylum Nematomorpha, commonly known as horsehair worms. They are closely related to phylum Nematoda, the roundworms. And just like horsehair worms, roundworms also love to infect crickets and grasshoppers.

One of those species is Mermis nigrescens, known as the grasshopper nematode. This worm can be found all over the world where grasshoppers exist, although they seem to be more common in Eurasia and the Americas.

An adult, gravid female. Photo by wikimedia user Beentree.**

Adults of the grasshopper nematode live in the soil and are very large for a nematode. Males measure about 5 cm in length and females can reach 20 cm, which is much larger than most nematodes that infect insects. They are, therefore, very similar to horsehair worms in appearance and behavior. The body has a smooth surface and a pale brown color, with females having a red spot on their head, the chromatopore, which functions like an eye.

After adults mate in spring or summer, males usually die but females remain in the soil through fall and winter and emerge in the following spring after a rainfall. They show a black stripe running along the body that is caused by thousands of eggs inside. They climb the nearby vegetation, up to 3 m above the ground, and lay their eggs, which measure about 0.5 mm in length, on it.

A female climbing the vegetation. Photo by Wikimedia user Notafly.**

In order to be able to climb the vegetation, female grasshopper nematodes show positive phototaxis, i.e., they are attracted by light sources, which is the opposite of what happens with most nematodes that have eyes. In fact the female’s eye, the chromatopore, is a single structure, like a single eye, and seems to have evolved independently from other nematode eyes. Its red color is caused by a hemoglobin, like the one that makes our blood red, but in this case it seems to function as a light receptor.

A closeup of the female eye and a transverse section through it. Extracted from Burr et al. (2000).*

When the eggs are ingested by an orthopteran insect (usually a grasshopper but sometimes a katydid), they hatch almost immediately. The young worm pierces the grasshopper’s gut and enters its hemocoel, the “blood cavity” of the body.

An adult around its dead host, a katydid. Photo by Wikimedia user Beentree.**

There, the worm develops by absorbing nutrients from the insect’s blood directly through its cuticle. This leads to serious depletion in the insect’s levels of blood sugar, especially trehalose (the insect storage sugar) and body proteins. After reaching 5 cm or more in size, they leave the insect, killing it in the process, and continue their development in the soil until reaching the adult stage and starting the cycle all over again.

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References:

Burr AHJ, Babinzski CPF, Ward AJ (1990) Components of phototaxis of the nematode Mermis nigrescens. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 167: 245–255. doi: 10.1007/BF00188117

Burr AHJ, Hunt P, Wagar DR, Dewilde S, Blaxter ML, Vanfleteren JR, Moens L (2000) A Hemoglobin with an Optical Function. Journal of Biological Chemistry 275: 4810–4815. doi: 10.1074/jbc.275.7.4810

Burr AHJ, Schiefke R, Bollerup G (1975) Properties of a hemoglobin from the chromatrope of the nematode Mermis nigrescens. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Protein Structure 405(2): 401–411. doi: 10.1016/0005-2795(75)90105-1

Gordon R, Webster JM (1971) Mermis nigrescens: Physiological relationship with its host, the adult desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. Experimental Parasitology 29(1): 66–79. doi: 10.1016/0014-4894(71)90012-9

Rutherford TA, Webster JM (1974) Transcuticular Uptake of Glucose by the Entomophilic Nematode, Mermis nigrescens. Journal of Parasitology 60(5): 804–808. doi: 10.2307/3278905

Rutherford TA, Webster JM (1978) Some effects of Mermis nigrescens on the hemolymph of Schistocerca gregaria. Canadian Journal of Zoology 56(2): 339–347. doi: 10.1139/z78-046

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Friday Fellow: Arctic Woolly Bear Moth

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Last week I introduced the arctic willow, an unusual willow that lives as a creeping plant in the Arctic and, as I mentioned then, many species feed on this small plant. One of this species is Gynaeophora groenlandica, known as the arctic woolly bear moth.

As it is common among lepidopterans, the caterpillars of the arctic woolly bear moth feed mainly on only one species, in this case the arctic willow. But they are much more than only a caterpillar feeding on an unusual plant.

An arctic woolly bear moth among the branches of an arctic willow. Photo by Fiona Paton.*

Inhabiting greenland and the islands of Canada, the arctic woolly bear moth lives in an extreme environment in which temperatures are very low during most of the year. As a result, it is unable to remain active during several months and, like many arctic species, it hibernates.

In most of the world, the caterpillar of the arctic woolly bear moth would be considered of an average size but in its environment it is a relatevely large insect. Its body is covered by soft and long hair which varies from a reddish-brown to a dark-brown color. Adults have a grayish color with a hairy abdomen.

An adult waiting to mate. Photo by iNaturalist user pat_lorch.**

The adults mate and lay eggs around the end of June. The eggs hatch very quickly and the small first-instar larvae start to eat on arctic willow leaves but during July the temperatures start to drop quickly and the very small larvae prepare to hibernate. They spin a silken hibernaculum, a shelter to hibernate, and enter diapause, remaining inactive until June of the next year. When the snow starts to melt, they wake up, start to feed again and molt, reaching the second instar before the end of June. Then they spin another hibernaculum and enter diapause again. This cycle continues for the next years until they reach the 8th year since they hatched.

A caterpillar waking up in its hibernaculum. Photo by iNaturalist user pat_lorch.**

In that year, the caterpillars molt into pupae, which develop into adults in about a week. The adults then mate, lay their eggs, the eggs hatch and new first-instar larvae restart the cycle. Hatching in late June of the first year and mating and dying in mid June of the 8th year, the arctic woolly bear moth completes its life cycle in about 7 years, but this is restricted to 3 only weeks each year. They spend more than 90% of their life as hibernating caterpillars.

Two adults mating in June. Photo by iNaturalist user pat_lorch.**

It is not easy to be a moth in the cold Arctic. And the arctic woolly bear moth must not only survive the harsh winters but is always threatened by parasitoids, because we all know that those damn creatures exist everywhere.

And with such a specialized life cycle, what could happen with the arctic woolly bear moth now that the temperatures in the Arctic are rising? Will it survive what we have done with Earth’s climate?

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References:

Morewood WD, Ring RA (1998) Revision of the life history of the High Arctic moth Gynaephora groenlandica (Wocke) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 76:1371–1381.

Morewood DW, Wood MD (2002) Host utilization by Exorista thula Wood (sp. nov.) and Chetogena gelida (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tachinidae), parasitoids of arctic Gynaephora species (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae). Polar Biology 25: 575–582. doi: 10.1007/s00300-002-0382-y

Wikipedia. Gynaephora gronelandica. Available at < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynaephora_groenlandica >. Access on February 9, 2020.

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Friday Fellow: Arctic Willow

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Whenever one hears to word “willow”, the image that comes to mind is of a nice tree such as the weeping willow and the white willow . The genus Salix, however, includes hundreds of species, and some of them look very different from a weeping willow.

One of those peculiar species is Salix arctica, the arctic willow. As its name suggests, the arctic willow grows far north in the world, in the Arctic region. It is, in fact, the northernmost woody plant in the world, occuring in Eurasia and North America. Its distribution extends beyond the so-called tree line, which marks the northern limit in which trees can grow. As a result, despite being a willow, the arctic willow is not a tree. Actually it is so small that even calling it a shrub is weird.

Arctic willow growing in Canada. Photo by Zack Harris.*

The arctic willow lives as a creeping plant, growing very close to the ground and usually growing up to 15 cm in height, although it may reach 25 cm in warmer places or, in some exceptional cases, 50 cm. It as small hairy leaves and, like all willows, male and female flowers occur in separate plants, i.e., the arctic willow is a dioecious species.

Heavily hairy female catkins with the red pistils clearly visible. Photo by iNaturalist user mayoung.*

Flowers occur in the typical catkin inflorescence of willows and many other trees and are pollinated by insects. Female catkins are hairier than male ones and have somehow conic carpels with a dark-red pistil. Male catkins have very visible stamens with red anthers that turn yellow when they become covered by the released pollen.

Male catkin with the red anthers. Photo by iNaturalist user ivyevergreen.*

Despite its small size, the arctic willow is a very important plant in many aspects. It is an important, and sometimes the solely, food source of many arctic species. Among humans, it has a major role in Inuit and Gwich’in cultures, being used as fuel, medicine and sometimes even as food.

A specimen growing in Russia. Photo by Елена Шубницина.*

The arctic willow can live more than 80 years and, as it is a woody plant living in a very extreme environment, it produces growth rings like an ordinary tree and they have recently been proved to be a good source on climatic data of the Arctic.

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References:

Kevan PG (1990) Sexual differences in temperatures of blossoms on a dioecious plant, Salix arctica: Significance for life in the Arctic. Arctic and Alpine Research 22:283–289. doi: 10.1080/00040851.1990.12002792

Schmidt NM, Baittinger C, Forchhammer MC (2006) Reconstructing century-long snow regimes using estimates of High Arctic Salix arctica Radial Growth. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 38: 257–262. doi: 10.1657/1523-0430(2006)38[257:RCSRUE]2.0.CO;2

Schmidt NM, Baittinger C, Kollmann J, Forchhammer MC (2010) Consistent Dendrochronological Response of the Dioecious Salix arctica to Variation in Local Snow Precipitation across Gender and Vegetation Types. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 42: 471–476. doi: 10.1657/1938-4246-42.4.471

Woodcock H, Bradley RS (1994) Salix arctica (Pall.): its potential for dendroclimatological studies in the high Arctic. Dendrocronologia 12: 11–22.

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Filed under Botany, Friday Fellow

New Species: February 2020

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Here is a list of species described this month. It certainly does not include all described species. You can see the list of Journals used in the survey of new species here.

Bacteria

Teredinibacter waterburyi is a new endosymbiotic bacterium from the gills of the mollusk Bankia setacea. Extracted from Altamia et al. (2020).

SARs

Dilochia deleoniae is a new orchid from the Philippines. Credits to Tandang et al. (2020).*

Plants

Flower of Solanum hydroides a new solanum species from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Credits to Gouvêa et al. (2020).*

Fungi

Curvularia nanningensis is a new pathogenic fungus from the lemon grass in China. Credits to Zhang et al. (2020).*

Cnidarians

Rotiferans

Flatworms

Annelids

Craspedotropis gretathunbergae is a new snail from Brunei. Credits to Schilthuizen et al. (2020).*

Mollusks

Haliella seisuimaruae is a new snail that lives as a parasite on sea urchins in Japan. Credits to Takano et al. (2020).*

Bryozoans

Nematodes

Tardigrades

Male (left) and female (right) of Asianopis zhuanghaoyuni, a new spider from China. Credits to Lin et al. (2020).*

Arachnids

Eocuma orbiculatum is a new cumacean from the South Sea of Korea. Credits to Kim et al. (2020).*

Crustaceans

Lebbeus sokhobio is a new abyssal shrimp from the Sea of Okhotsk, between Russia and Japan. Credits to Marin (2020).*
Phyllium nisus (left) and Phyllium gardabagusi (right) are two new leaf insects from Indonesia. Credits to Cumming et al. (2020).*

Hexapods

Sporades jaechi is a new beetle from New Caledonia. Credits to Liebherr (2020).*
Oenopia shirkuhensis is a new lady beetle from Iran. Credits to Khormizi & Nedvěd (2020)*.

Echinoderms

Actinopterygians

Ammoglanis obliquus is a new catfish from northern Brazil. Credits to Henschel et al. (2020).*

Amphibians

Female (left) and male (right) of Nidirana guangdongensis, a new frog from China. Credits to Lyu et al. (2020).*

Reptiles

Opisthotropis hungtai is a new snake from China. Credits to Wang et al. (2020).*

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*Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Filed under Systematics, taxonomy