Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

American University biologist discovers new crab species

27.11.2012
Crustacean becomes professor's namesake

Areopaguristes tudgei. That's the name of a new species of hermit crab recently discovered on the barrier reef off the coast of Belize by Christopher Tudge, a biology professor at American University in Washington, D.C.


This is a photo of Areopaguristes tudgei, a new species of crab discovered by and named for American University biologist Christopher Tudge.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Rafael Lemaitre and Darryl L. Felder

Tudge has been interested in biology his whole life, from boyhood trips to the beach collecting crustaceans in his native Australia, to his undergraduate and PhD work in zoology and biology at the University of Queensland. He has collected specimens all over the world, from Australia to Europe to North and South America.

Until now, he has never had a species named after him. He only found out about his namesake after reading an article about it in the journal Zootaxa. Apparently, finding out after-the-fact is standard practice in the highly formalized ritual of naming a new species.

The two crustacean taxonomists and authors of the paper who named the new crab after Tudge, Rafael Lemaitre of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and Darryl L. Felder of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette's Department of Biology Laboratory for Crustacean Research, have known Tudge since he first came to Washington in 1995 as a postdoc research fellow at the Smithsonian.

Crustecean Elation

Lemaitre and Felder have been collecting specimens on the tiny Belizean island for decades and for more than 10 years, they had asked Tudge—who specializes in the structures of crustacean reproduction and how they relate to the creatures' evolutionary history—to join them on one of their semiannual research outings.

Finally, in February 2010, Tudge joined them on a tiny island covered with hundreds of species of their favorite fauna.

It was crab heaven for a cast of crustacean guys.

"So you can take 40 steps off the island and you're on the edge of the reef, and then the back part of the reef is what they call the lagoon," Tudge recalled. "You slowly walk out into ever-increasing depths of water and it's a mixture of sand and sea grass and bits of coral, and then there's some channels. There's lots of different habitats there. Some islands are covered by mangroves. So we would visit all the different habitats that were there."

"We would collect on the reef crest, go and turn over coral boulders on the reef flat, snorkel over the sea grass beds. We pumped sand and mud to get things out of the ground. We walked into the mangroves and collected crustaceans from under the mangrove roots. We even snorkeled in the channels in the mangrove islands."

But discovering the new species was much less involved: Tudge turned over a coral boulder in an intertidal area, saw 50 or so tiny crabs scrambling around, and stuck a dozen or so specimens in a bottle before going on with his work.

Only later in the lab, under the microscope, was it determined that this isolated little group of hermit crabs might be unique.

As the journal authors write: "Given this cryptic habitat and the relatively minute size of the specimens (shield length range = 1.0-3.0 mm), it is not surprising that these populations have gone unnoticed during extensive sampling programs that have previously taken place along the Barrier Reef of Belize."

Getting the Word

Tudge found out only recently found out that Areopaguristes tudgei—a tiny hermit crab differentiated from others in its genus by such characteristics as the hairs growing on some of its appendages—was joining the list of about 3 million known species.

Lemaitre emailed him a PDF of the finished article. A note said only, "Here's a new species. What do you think?" The note had a smiley emoticon.

That's the way it works, said Tudge's colleague American University's College of Arts and Sciences, biology professor Daniel Fong. There's no warning; one day you just find out. Fong has also had species named after him, and he has discovered new ones as well.

"You go through several emotions when a species has been named after you," Fong said. "It is truly an honor, in the most formal sense of the term, that your colleagues have thought of naming a species after you. It is a very special type of recognition of your contribution to your research field by your colleagues."

Amid their exhaustive taxonomic description, complete with drawings and photographs of Areopaguristes tudgei, the journal article authors explain why they chose its name: "This species is named after our colleague Christopher C. Tudge (American University) who first noticed and collected populations of this diminutive hermit crab living under large dead coral boulders during joint field work in Carrie Bow Cay. The name also acknowledges his unique contributions to knowledge of the reproductive biology of hermit crabs."

Maggie Barrett | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.american.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tumult im trägen Elektronen-Dasein

Ein internationales Team von Physikern hat erstmals das Streuverhalten von Elektronen in einem nichtleitenden Material direkt beobachtet. Ihre Erkenntnisse könnten der Strahlungsmedizin zu Gute kommen.

Elektronen in nichtleitenden Materialien könnte man Trägheit nachsagen. In der Regel bleiben sie an ihren Plätzen, tief im Inneren eines solchen Atomverbunds....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Hauchdünne magnetische Materialien für zukünftige Quantentechnologien entwickelt

Zweidimensionale magnetische Strukturen gelten als vielversprechendes Material für neuartige Datenspeicher, da sich die magnetischen Eigenschaften einzelner Molekülen untersuchen und verändern lassen. Forscher haben nun erstmals einen hauchdünnen Ferrimagneten hergestellt, bei dem sich Moleküle mit verschiedenen magnetischen Zentren auf einer Goldfläche selbst zu einem Schachbrettmuster anordnen. Dies berichten Wissenschaftler des Swiss Nanoscience Institutes der Universität Basel und des Paul Scherrer Institutes in der Wissenschaftszeitschrift «Nature Communications».

Ferrimagneten besitzen zwei magnetische Zentren, deren Magnetismus verschieden stark ist und in entgegengesetzte Richtungen zeigt. Zweidimensionale, quasi...

Im Focus: Neuer Ionisationsweg in molekularem Wasserstoff identifiziert

„Wackelndes“ Molekül schüttelt Elektron ab

Wie reagiert molekularer Wasserstoff auf Beschuss mit intensiven ultrakurzen Laserpulsen? Forscher am Heidelberger MPI für Kernphysik haben neben bekannten...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Diabetes Kongress 2017:„Closed Loop“-Systeme als künstliche Bauchspeicheldrüse ab 2018 Realität

23.05.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Aachener Werkzeugmaschinen-Kolloquium 2017: Internet of Production für agile Unternehmen

23.05.2017 | Veranstaltungen

14. Dortmunder MST-Konferenz zeigt individualisierte Gesundheitslösungen mit Mikro- und Nanotechnik

22.05.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Medikamente aus der CLOUD: Neuer Standard für die Suche nach Wirkstoffkombinationen

23.05.2017 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Diabetes Kongress 2017:„Closed Loop“-Systeme als künstliche Bauchspeicheldrüse ab 2018 Realität

23.05.2017 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

CAST-Projekt setzt Dunkler Materie neue Grenzen

23.05.2017 | Physik Astronomie