These crustaceans have tiny shells and are found in almost all oceans, so their study is very interesting for science.

From left to right: Leiogalathea pallas (Vanuatu), Munida ommata, Babamunida bellula, and Agononida sabatesae (Papua New Guinea).

Hendersonida parvirostris, Babamunida bellula, Munida ommata, Munida eclepsis, Torbenella orbis Y Agononida sabatesae are some of the names given to the many new species of galateids, which have just been described by researchers from the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN) and the Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB), both from the CSIC.

These small crustaceans, with just a few centimeters of shell, are part of the group of galateoids, some decapod crustaceans ranging from a few millimeters to several centimeters and that are characterized by having a more or less triangular face that goes beyond the eyes.

With the look of little lobsters with tiny shells and beautiful orange colors, these long-horned crustaceans are known as sea ​​bugs or tailors and they are found throughout the oceans.

The mentioned species have been discovered in the Pacific Ocean, on the continental shelf of the Papua New Guinea area, but these are just some of the many that this research group has described in the last year.

Fourteen new species

Thanks to the collections carried out by French expeditions in the deep ocean, this same team was able to confirm the presence of 14 species new to the science of the genera Eumunida, Munida and Munidopsis in the waters of New caledonia, the Solomon Islands Y Papua New Guinea.

Likewise, the revision of a genus of small species and also of the deep ocean, Leiogalathea, involved the description of a total of 15 new species collected in the Atlantic oceans, Indian Y peaceful.

“These are species that, at first glance, are very similar to each other, but are genetically very different”, clarifies the researcher from the MNCN and CEAB Paula C. Rodríguez Flores. “The origin of this group of species dates back to the ancient Tethys Ocean, which preceded the current Mediterranean and which connected the Atlantic to the Pacific long before the Indian Ocean existed,” he continues.

The fact that this group is so numerous (currently about 1,000 species of galateoids are known), widely distributed and ecologically diverse, makes it ideal for analyzing how the diversification processes of Marine species.