Every vote counts!

Help us choose the name for the newly discovered species!

During field work, conducted as part of the SubBIOCODE project, we also collected different cave shrimps. Molecular analyses revealed that some are different species from all currently known species of the genus Troglocaris and Spelaeocaris and present a new species to science!

We are in a process of describing a new species of cave shrimp, and decided to invite all interested to help choose a scientific name for it. Help us and vote for the scientific name you like most, or consider most relevant.

Scroll down for voting!

The voting for the name closes on 22th April 2022 at 8am. We will publicly announce the selected partial name of the new species on the project website and SubBioLab facebook account.

What are cave shrimps?

Shrimps are fragile and often translucent crustaceans. The best known are marine species, although they are also numerous in continental waters of the tropics. By contrast, there are only a few species in European freshwaters, where the highest species diversity is found in subterranean waters of the Dinaric Karst. At least five species of cave shrimps can be found in the Southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, often even co-occurring within the same cave. These lovely pale little shrimps are excellent swimmers and hard to catch. As is often the case in subterranean environments, different species are very similar and can only be distinguished by the sharp expert eye.

The new member of the cave shrimps

The new species was first found as a single damaged individual and was identified as potential new species molecularly. During SubBIOCODE fieldwork expeditions, the researchers have found additional individuals, enabling thorough and reliable scientific description based on morphology and molecular data. The new species was found on five locations in the area of Popovo polje (in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Southern Croatia. The type locality, meaning the locality of the specimen which serves for scientific description of a new species, will be a cave in Popovo polje. The description of the new species is led by dr. Valerija Zakšek (SubBioLab, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana) and dr. Jure Jugovic (University of Primorska).

Why is it important to name new species?

Scientific species name represents its “name and surname” and enables us to refer to the exact group of individuals. It is universal, meaning that scientists from different countries, speaking different languages, can understand which species one is referring to. By providing specimens with a scientific name, we can promote the importance of the species, biodiversity of the subterranean habitats in the area and ensure that appropriate measures for its protection are taken.

How to name a species?

The scientific name is binomial, meaning it is composed of two words. The first one, written with a capital letter, is a genus and the second one, written in small letters, is a species name. Together, along with the author and year of the description, it forms a unique combination. When naming a new species, scientists follow a set of rules proposed by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). The species epithets (second part of scientific names) are diverse and are often describing geographical area of species distribution (e.g. hercegovinensis; after Hercegovina), their characteristic (prasence meaning piglet-like) or famous scientists (pretneri; after entomologist Egon Pretner).

About the project

In the scope of project SubBIOCODE – “Developing new tools for rapid assessment of subterranean biodiversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, the researchers are exploring the subterranean life in the area of the river Trebišnjica. This is one of the especially rich areas in terms of the many species living there – it is recognised as a part of a biodiversity hotspot of cave biodiversity. The project aims to improve the compilation and accessibility of data on subterranean species, implement molecular approaches for faster identification of species, set priorities for conservation priorities and increase the skills of conservationists in the region.

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