Dr. David Drumm, who specializes in the taxonomy of marine crustaceans, recently published the description of another new species of amphipod, Hyalella wakulla. The specimens were encountered while processing benthic infauna samples for the 2015 EPA National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA). For this project we performed full sample sorting and genus/species level identifications on over 1,000 benthic infauna samples from the Pacific, Gulf and Atlantic coastlines as well as the Great Lakes.
The new species is part of a complex made up of cryptic species. Uncovering cryptic diversity is crucial in taxa used in biomonitoring and has important implications for conservation. Distinct species may have different tolerance ranges towards a variety of factors.
The new species was named after the river in which it was found (Wakulla River in northern Florida), and has been published in the journal, Zootaxa.
For more information on the 2015 NCCA please go to: https://www.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resource-surveys/ncca