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The formal description of a new species also involves giving it its scientific name.

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As Verity explained in Step 3. A genus is a group of closely related species that share similar features. So if a new species belongs to an already known genus, then it takes that genus name.

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But it still needs a new species name. So how do we choose a new species name? Species names are derived from Latin and Greek, and traditionally describe a key feature of the species. For example, the scientific name of the spiny cockle, which we find around some southwest UK shores, is Acanthocardia aculeata.

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Victorian and earlier naturalists, who named many of the common species found in shallow water, were educated in Latin and Greek and simply described what they saw to name species. You can also use a species name to indicate the geographical location where the species is found: for example Vulcanolepas scotiaensis is a new species of stalked barnacle recently found at deep-sea vents in the Scotia Sea of the Antarctic.

There is a strict rule that those describing a new species cannot name it after themselves, but species names can be used to commemorate other scientists for their work.

At the Von Damm Vent Field in the Cayman Trough, which you explored during Week 1, there are two new species of shrimps that Verity has analysed and now formally described links to the original science papers are provided at the bottom of this page. We use cookies to give you a better experience.

Describing Species | Columbia University Press

Search Search. Exploring Our Oceans University of Southampton. Describing new species: a tale of two shrimps.


The ten described Omaliomimus species are known from New Zealand proper, its subantarctic islands, and Australia's Macquarie Island south of New Zealand and Australia , where they live in washed-up rotting seaweed or occasionally birds' nests or dead birds. The currently valid species were described between and , but recent collecting in the Chatham Islands, east of New Zealand, has turned up a huge species not yet described and not known from anywhere else.

As is common in rove beetles, larvae of the new species were collected with the adults. As a contribution to ongoing broader studies of the fauna of the Chatham Islands by several researchers, we will prepare for publication a well-illustrated description of this new species, comparing both adults and larvae to those of already known Omaliomimus species.

This will add significantly to the scanty published knowledge of Omaliomimus larvae. If time permits, we can also attempt to reconstruct a preliminary species level phylogeny to consider whether this might be a case of island gigantism.

From the Archives: Shrimp Tails - Describing a New Species

Research methods and techniques : Research work will include training in beetle skeletal morphology; dissecting, microscopy, and imaging techniques probably including SEM — scanning electron microscopy ; databasing and georeferencing specimen collecting records; and using the georeferenced records to map the known distribution.

Phylogenetic analysis would use software available for that purpose, such as TNT, to analyze a matrix of morphological character data. The intern will work with the sponsoring curator on writing, for publication, a modern description of the species with illustrations drawings, digital macrophotos, SEM and comparisons to other species of Omaliomimus.

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  4. This project will also provide familiarity with scientific literature on the Chatham Islands fauna and on rove beetles. Stephanie Ware is currently a research assistant in the Division of Insects currently working with Dr. Petra Sierwald.

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