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

A molecular compass for bird navigation

Feb 27, 2015

Each year, the Arctic Tern travels over 40,000 miles, migrating nearly from pole to pole and back again. Other birds make similar (though shorter) journeys in search of warmer climes. How do these birds manage ...

100,000 bird samples online

Feb 27, 2015

The Natural History Museum (NHM) in Oslo has a bird collection of international size. It is now available online.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.