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Indian Ocean species in global top 10

Written by Camille Gilles Modified on the

  • Criquet Glomeremus sp.© C. Micheneau, Université de la Réunion

For five years now, the International Institute forthe Study of Species (Arizona State University, USA) has each year beenselecting 10 new species out of the 18,000 discovered annually around the world.

In 2011, two species from the Indian Ocean wereselected for the top 10 list: the Darwin bark spider (Caerostris darwini) from Madagascar and a cricket endemic to Réunion (Glomeremus orchidophilus). The Madagascar spider weaves the largest spiral web in the world. As for cricket, it is the only known pollinator of the orchid Angraecum cadetii, endemic to Réunion. This insect was discovered in the Pandanus forest in the Plaine des Palmistes by two researchers from the University of Réunion, Jacques Fournel and Claire Micheneau (UMR PVBMT).

This year, the top 10 was revealed on May 23, just after World Biodiversity Day. There were no species from Reunion or Madagascar chosen this time, but an earthworm from South Africa, Halicephalobus mephisto, has been selected, as well as a centipede from Tanzania, Crurifarcimen vagans.

This selection was made by an international panel of14 scientists from various countries around the world including France, Germany,Denmark, the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, USA, Brazil, South Africa, or NewZealand.

To see the 2012 top 10 follow this link:

Note that new species are regularly discovered in the Indian Ocean, including a new lemur in Madagascar and a mini-chameleon, and also new plants (orchids, mosses, etc) or indeed new insect species. See our pictures here.

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