New lobster species `discovered`

Biologists claim to have discovered two new species of lobsters.

Washington: Biologists claim to have discovered two new species of lobsters, along with six others which are recorded for the first time in Australian waters.
An international team, led by Dr Jo Taylor of Museum Victoria in Australia, has documented the lobster species of the Munidopsis -- one of the most diverse in squat lobsters. They have named one of the new species, Munidopsis comarge.

Species of the genus Munidopsis are typical animals of the deep sea. The genus is one of the most diverse and species-rich of all the squat lobsters, including more than 225 species from oceans worldwide, say the biologists.

Munidopsis species are commonly distributed from the lower continental shelf, usually deeper than 500 m, and around 20 per cent of species are known to occur on the abyssal plain at depths greater than 3000 m. One has even been recorded from the wreck of the Titanic.

This new species publication coincides with the release of the Census of Marine Life`s `A Decade of Discovery`-- the culmination of ten years of collaboration between 2,700 scientists from over 80 nations worldwide to uncover the extraordinary diversity and abundance of life in the sea.

The findings have been published in the `Zootaxa` journal.


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