Scientists working at EcoAnalysts, Inc. have described a new genus and species of mayfly collected from seven lakes and reservoirs in Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Arkansas, reminding us that there are still plenty of things to discover on earth and in our own backyards.
In 2008, EcoAnalysts was contracted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for taxonomic identification of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic macroinvertebrates from biological samples collected from over 1100 lakes in the continental United States as part of the EPA National Lakes Assessment (NLA) program.
While processing the benthic macroinvertebrate samples from the project, EcoAnalysts’ scientists John Pfeiffer and Matthew Hill discovered an unusual mayfly (Ephemeroptera) nymph that did not match any known taxonomic description. The new insect has been named Waynokiops dentatogriphus and its description has recently been published in the scientific journal Zootaxa, one of the primary journals for descriptions of new invertebrate species. Not much is currently known about this new species, but now that it has been discovered scientists can begin studying its life history and environmental requirements.
Reference: Hill, M.A., Pfeiffer, J. & Jacobus, L.M. (2010) A new genus and new species of Baetidae (Ephemeroptera) from lakes and reservoirs in eastern North America. Zootaxa, 2481: 61-68.