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From fish to ants: 139 new species named in Australia

From fish to ants: 139 new species named
Heteroclinus argyrospilos (Silverspot Weedfish) is well known from south-western Australia (SA & WA) in 55-100m depth. Only two specimens of the elusive species are known. The colour of weedfish species often matches the colour of the marine vegetation they inhabit. Credit: CSIRO

In a win for biodiversity, CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has revealed 139 new species were named and described by its researchers and partners during the past year. With no more than 25 percent of Australia’s species recognized to science, scientific names are vital for researchers, governments and the city to raised understand the country’s vast ecosystems.

CSIRO scientist John Pogonoski, who helped name four new species of marine fish, said the task highlighted the significance of scientific collections including CSIRO’s National Research Collections Australia. “We named three of small, brightly-colored anthias by comparing specimens of related species held in fish collections,” Pogonoski said.

“New species of anthias remain being recognized because they’re rarely encountered because of being beyond normal diving depths, small in proportions, or surviving in habitats difficult to sample.”

Pogonoski said the brand new Silverspot Weedfish, Heteroclinus argyrospilos, was described from only two known specimens collected from south-western Australia by researchers on the former CSIRO Research Vessel Southern Surveyor in 2000 and 2005.

“The Weedfish were found 55 to 100 meters below sea level, that is interesting since they live deeper than other known members of the genus,” he said.

Along with 117 insects named in the past year, scientists named 14 other invertebrates including 11 jumping spiders, one millipede, one earthworm and something marine trematode that was discovered in the fish.

CSIRO Entomologist Dr. David Yeates said the known but newly named ant Anonychomyrma inclinata was particularly special, using its support of the endangered Bulloak Jewel Butterfly, Hypochrysops piceatus. “The ecological requirements because of this beautiful butterfly have become narrow, that is probably why it really is so rare,” Dr. Yeates said.

“The we’ve now named must be nesting in an adult bulloak, Allocasuarina luehmannii. The butterfly caterpillars live under bark and so are carried to soft bulloak leaves to feed during the night by ‘babysitter’ ants. The ants protect the caterpillars from predators and get a sugary gift from the caterpillars, a win-win for both species,” he said.

The newly-named species also highlight the significance of collaboration, with most involving authors from multiple scientific collections and universities across Australia and overseas.

“Working with our to mention species is incredibly importantit may be the first rung on the ladder in Australia understanding and managing its biodiversity,” Dr. Yeates said.

“As a country, we have been still in the exciting phase of species discovery,” he said.

From fish to ants: 139 new species named
Undarobius howarthi, among the two new species of weevils in the brand new genus Undarobius within lava caves at Undara Volcanic National Park in north-eastern Queensland. Although this weevil doesn’t have eyes, patches of pigment and too little setae (bristly hairs) supply the appearance of eye spots. Credit: CSIRO

New species instantly:

Marine fishes (4)

  • Heteroclinus argyrospilos (Silverspot Weedfish) lives in waters 55 to 100m deep in south-western Australia (SA and WA).
  • Pseudanthias paralourgus (Purple-tip Anthias) lives in waters 110 to 119m deep in southern Queensland.
  • Tosana longipinnis (Longfin Threadtail Anthias) lives in waters 62 to 252m deep from the central Queensland coast to the central NSW coast.
  • Tosana dampieriensis (Dampierian Threadtail Anthias) lives in waters 66 to 177m deep in northern Western Australia.

Plants (3)

  • Lobelia pachytricha is really a creeper with pretty blue to mauve flowers with yellow markings.
  • Gomphrena axillaris and G. longistyla were described using specimens held in Australian herbaria.

Frog (1)

  • Philoria knowlesia mountain frog from south-east Queensland.

Insects (117)

  • 39 gall wasps from the Americas.
  • 34 beetles, like the 2 weevils in the brand new genus Undarobius within lava caves at Undara Volcanic National Park in north-eastern Queensland.
  • 16 katydids
  • 13 caddisflies
  • 12 thrips
  • 1 antAnonychomyrma inclinata, the obligate attendant for the rare and beautiful Bulloak Jewel butterfly Hypochrysops piceatus.
  • 1 flyTeratomyza ismayi, the initial fern fly known from New Guinea.
  • 1 buga treehopper found near Canberra and named Wallaciana namadgi after Namadgi National Park.

Other invertebrates (14)

  • 11 Jumping spiders
  • 1 Millipedethe first millipede with an increase of than 1000 legs.
  • 1 Earthworm
  • 1 Marine trematode Enenterum petrae was found in the species of fish, the Brassy Drummer (Kyphosus vaigiensis), collected off Lizard Island in Queensland.

Citation: From fish to ants: 139 new species named in Australia (2022, August 8) retrieved 9 August 2022 from

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