A Butterfly-Guarding Ant and 11 Jumping Spiders: Say Hello to the CSIRO’s 139 New Species

A Butterfly-Guarding Ant and 11 Jumping Spiders: Say Hello to the CSIRO’s 139 New Species

An ant species that exists to protect a rare butterfly and jumping spiders are just some of 139 new species that have been named by the CSIRO.

As you can imagine, the list is quite long, but in total, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) named 117 insects, 14 other invertebrates, four types of fish, three plants and one frog.

“Working together with our research community to name species is incredibly important – it is the first step in Australia understanding and managing its biodiversity,” CSIRO Entomologist Dr David Yeates said.

“As a country, we are still in the very exciting phase of species discovery.”

Let’s take a look at the CSIRO’s 139 new species

The insects (all 117 of them) declared new species by CSIRO are:

  • 39 gall wasps from the Americas
  • 34 beetles, including 2 weevils
  • 13 caddisflies
  • 12 thrips
  • 1 ant1 fly
  • 1 bug.

CSIRO said the two weevils (in the new genus Undarobius) were found in lava caves at Undara Volcanic National Park in north-eastern Queensland. The ant, the Anonychomyrma inclinata, is the one that protects the caterpillar of a rare and beautiful Bulloak Jewel butterfly Hypochrysops piceatus. What a good little dude. Meanwhile, the fly, the Teratomyza ismayi, is the first fern fly known from New Guinea and the bug is a treehopper found near Canberra and named Wallaciana namadgi after Namadgi National Park.

csiro new species
Anonychomyrma inclinata worker. Image: CSIRO

Under ‘other invertebrates’, new species found by CSIRO are:

  • 11 jumping spiders
  • 1 millipede
  • 1 earthworm
  • 1 marine trematode.

The millipede is actually the first millipede with more than 1,000 legs (!!!) and the marine trematode (a parasitic flatworm), Enenterum petrae was found inside a species of fish, the Brassy Drummer (Kyphosus vaigiensis), and was collected off Lizard Island in Queensland, CSIRO said.

New species of marine fishes are:

  • 1 Silverspot Weedfish
  • 1 Purple-tip Anthias
  • 1 Longfin Threadtail Anthias
  • 1 Dampierian Threadtail Anthias

The Silverspot Weedfish (Heteroclinus argyrospilos) lives in waters 55 to 100m deep in South Australia and Western Australia, while the Purple-tip Anthias (Pseudanthias paralourgus) lives in waters 110 to 119m deep in southern Queensland. The Longfin Threadtail Anthias (Tosana longipinnis) lives in waters 62 to 252m deep from the central Queensland coast to the central NSW coast and the Dampierian Threadtail Anthias (Tosana dampieriensis) lives in waters 66 to 177m deep in northern Western Australia.

The three new species of plants were the Lobelia pachytricha, a creeper with pretty blue to mauve flowers with yellow markings and the Gomphrena axillaris and G. longistyla, which were described using specimens held in Australian herbaria, CSIRO said. Lastly, the frog. The Philoria knowlesi is a mountain frog from south-east Queensland.

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