New mite species from a Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystem named after J.Lo

Jul 15, 2014
This image shows Litarachna lopezae, the new mite species named after Jennifer Lopez. Credit: Vladimir Pešić

During a recent survey of organisms collected from Bajo de Sico, a mesophotic coral reef ecosystem in Mona Passage off Puerto Rico, one pontarachnid mite species new to science was discovered. The new species was named after the famous Puerto Rican singer Jennifer Lopez. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

"The reason behind the unusual choice of name for the new species", explains the lead author Vladimir Pešić, Department of Biology, University of Montenegro, "is that J.Lo's songs and videos kept the team in a continuous good mood when writing the manuscript and watching World Cup Soccer 2014."

Pontarachnid mites represent widely distributed but still unstudied group of marine animals. Nothing is known about the life cycle of these animals. The new mite species was collected from nearly 70 m depth, the greatest depth from which Pontarachnid mites have been found until now.

Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs), like Bajo de Sico where the was found are light-dependent habitats dominated by macroalgae, sponges and scleractinian corals and are found on the insular and continental slopes of Caribbean islands between 30 and 100 m. Even at the lower depth range (70-100 m), there is enough light for photosynthesis to take place enhancing the growth of several scleractinian and algae.

The MCEs of Puerto Rico represent a potential biodiversity hotspot for marine arthropods.

Explore further: New study of largely unstudied mesophotic coral reef geology

More information: Pešić V, Chatterjee T, Alfaro M, Schizas NV (2014) A new species of Litarachna (Acari, Hydrachnidia, Pontarachnidae) from a Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystem. ZooKeys 425: 89-97. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.425.8110

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

'Killer sperm' prevents mating between worm species

8 hours ago

The classic definition of a biological species is the ability to breed within its group, and the inability to breed outside it. For instance, breeding a horse and a donkey may result in a live mule offspring, ...

Rare Sri Lankan leopards born in French zoo

11 hours ago

Two rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs have been born in a zoo in northern France, a boost for a sub-species that numbers only about 700 in the wild, the head of the facility said Tuesday.

Researcher reveals how amphibians crossed continents

13 hours ago

There are more than 7,000 known species of amphibians that can be found in nearly every type of ecosystem on six continents. But there have been few attempts to understand exactly when and how frogs, toads, ...

User comments : 0