Just in: Top 10 new species of 2011

This is an exciting day for a comparative physiologist! I just received word from a reader that the top 10 newly discovered species of 2011 have been chosen. This is an annual "contest" put on by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University along with an international committee of taxonomists.

The winners, in no particular order, are:

1. Darwin's Bark Spider (Caerostris darwini) that weaves orb webs large enough to span rivers:

2. Bioluminescent mushroom (Mycena luxaeterna):

3. Titanic-eating bacterium (Halomonas titanicae)...literally bacteria that are eating away at the Titanic:

4. Monitor lizard (Varanus bitatawa), a six-foot long fruit eating animal (being that large it is surprising that is was only recently discovered):

5. Pollinating cricket (Glomeremus orchidophilus), a cricket that pollinates a rare orchid:

6. Walter's duiker (Philantomba walteri), discovered at a bushmeat market, which was a surprise:

7. T. Rex leech (Tyrannobdella rex). I am not sure you want to know how this one was discovered. Okay I'll tell you...it was discovered feeding from the nasal mucous membrane of a young girl in Peru. Who knew there was a booger & blood-eating leech? It must have just taken a wrong turn on its way to finding a meal.

8. Rogue mushroom (Psathyrella aquatica). This is the first mushroom discovered that actually fruits underwater.

9. Leaproach (Saltoblattella montistabularis). Reportedly the only modern species of cockroach that has an ability to jump similar to a grasshopper. Prior to its discovery, the last known example of a jumping cockroach was in the Late Jurassic.

10. The Louisiana Pancake Batfish (Halieutichthys intermedius) was discovered near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill...like ocean syrup. I wonder if they taste good with bacon?

For more information about each species including where they were discovered, visit the Arizona State University's International Institute for Species Exploration.

All images were from the Arizona State University's IISE website.


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its very very interesting
i like walter 's duikar. It looks beautiful.

By Dr. Samir (not verified) on 29 Dec 2011 #permalink

What an imaginative name for the Titanic eating bacterium...but it actually does sound pretty interesting.

I'm just surprised the monitor lizard eats fruit. It looks like a komodo dragon!

Oh these are truly rare animals!!
Certainly Walter’s duiker is a big surprise! electric fencing