Thursday, June 14, 2018

A new isopod: Stenasellus tashanicus

Isopods are an order of crustaceans that includes woodlice and their relatives. Isopods can be found in the sea, in fresh water, or on land. There are over 10000 known species of isopods in the world and they conquered most environments.

There are quite a few isopods that are found in subterranean waters, cave-dwellers that are specifically adapted to life in this environment. The new species was found in a cave in Iran. Consequently it was named after the type locality, the Tashan Cave.

For the experts: A new stenasellid isopod is described from Tashan Cave, Khuzestan Province, south-west Iran, belonging to the genus Stenasellus Dollfus, 1897. The first recorded species of Stenasellidae from Iran, Stenasellus tashanicus sp. n., is diagnosed by the presence of antennae with a minute squama bearing paired, long, robust setae; a maxilliped endite with six coupling hooks; and slender appendix masculina with an acute apex. A revised generic diagnosis is provided with a key to the six known western Asian Stenasellus species.

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