Sunday 20 November 2016

Parathalestris yeemini: A new species of Harpacticoid Copepod from Tao Island, southern Thailand.

Harpacticoid Copepods are predominantly benthic Copepods found globally in marine and some freshwater environments. A few planktonic species are known, but these are often associated with floating Macro-algae (Seaweed) rather then being true free-living members of the plankton. The majority of Harpacticoids live on or within sediments, with some species having become quite worm-like in form.

In a paper published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on 10 November 2016, Supawadee Chullasorn of the Department of Biology at Ramkhamhaeng University, Pawana Kangtia of the Department of Biology at Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University and Sung Joon Song of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences & Research Institute of Oceanography at Seoul National University describe a new species of Harpacticoid Copepod from Tao Island, part of the Chumphon Archipelago on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand.

The new species is placed in the genus Parathalestris and given the specific name yeemini, in honour of Thamasak Yeemin of Ramkhamhaeng University for his work on Corals; the species was found living on dead Staghorn Corals, Acropora spp, and in coraline sands (i.e. sands made up of broken fragments of Coral skeletons). Thes Copepods are fusiform in shape (they have a spindle-shaped body that is wide in the middle and tapers towards each end). The sexes are unalike, with females being larger than the males; females observed measured 1.20-1.32 mm in length, while the males measured 0.87-1.15 mm.

Parathalestris yeemini, female. (A) Dorsal view; (B) lateral view; (C), caudal seta V. Chullasorn et al. (2016).

Parathalestris yeemini, Male. (A) Dorsal view; (B) Lateral view. Chullasorn et al. (2016).

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