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2018 Top 10 New Species

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Amphipod: A name that rings a bellESF Top 10 New Species of 2018

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  • Epimeria quasimodo in the field

    Epimeria quasimodo paratypes, adult, color in life.
    Photo credit: CÚdric d'Udekem d'Acoz, copyright Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Epimeria quasimodo in the field

    Epimeria quasimodo A. Lateral habitus B. Dorsal habitus
    Photo credit: CÚdric d'Udekem d'Acoz, copyright Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Epimeria quasimodo in the field

    Epimeria quasimodo Facial habitus
    Photo credit: CÚdric d'Udekem d'Acoz, copyright Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Epimeria quasimodo in the field

    Epimeria quasimodo Head in facial view
    Photo credit: CÚdric d'Udekem d'Acoz, copyright Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Epimeria quasimodo in the field

    Epimeria quasimodo A. Head in lateral view B. Urosome in dorsal view.
    Photo credit: CÚdric d'Udekem d'Acoz, copyright Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Epimeria quasimodo in the field

    Epimeria quasimodo Habitus
    Photo credit: CÚdric d'Udekem d'Acoz, copyright Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Epimeria quasimodo in the field

    Epimeria quasimodo Head in facial view
    Photo credit: CÚdric d'Udekem d'Acoz, copyright Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

map showing location of Amphipod Southern Ocean: Polarstern cruise PS81, east of Joinville IslandGoogle Maps view

About the Amphipod

Epimeria quasimodo
Location:
Antarctic Ocean

Here's a new species whose name might ring a bell. This amphipod, about 2 inches (50mm) in length, Epimeria quasimodo, is named for Victor Hugo's character, Quasimodo the hunchback, in reference to its somewhat humped back. It is one of 26 new species of amphipods of the genus Epimeria from the Southern Ocean with incredible spines and vivid colors. The number of species, and their extraordinary morphological structures and colors, makes the genus Epimeria an icon of the Southern Ocean that includes both free-swimming predators and sessile filter feeders.

The genus is abundant in the glacial waters circulating south of the Polar Front and their crested adornments are reminiscent of mythological dragons. When a treatment of the genus was published in 2007, many researchers assumed that the species were rather completely known. Using a combination of morphology and DNA evidence, however, a Belgian pair of investigators have demonstrated in their comprehensive monograph just how little we yet know of these spectacular invertebrates.

Etymology Named for the male protagonist Quasimodo in Victor Hugo's 1831 novel Notre-Dame de Paris

Type locality Southern Ocean: Polarstern cruise PS81, east of Joinville Island

Type Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels

Description d'Udekem d'Acoz, C. and M. L. Verheye (2017) Epimiria of the Southern Ocean with notes on their relatives (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Eusiroidea).  European Journal of Taxonomy 359:1-553


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