Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium discovers their squat lobster is new species
A squat lobster, on exhibition at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium since 2009, has been confirmed to be a new species, now known as the “Eumunida balteipes” in science.
The squat lobster was collected from a sluice gate at the Okinawa Prefecture Deep Sea Water Research Center on the shore of Kume Island in February 2009 and January 2011.
The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium has displayed the Eumunida balteipes as a squat lobster for over 10 years, but it’s now established that the squat lobster is a new species. The revelation came from a joint research projects by Takuo Higashiji, a researcher from Okinawa Churashima Foundation and Masayuki Osawa, a visiting researcher from Shimane University Estuary Research Center. They published their research work in a scientific journal of animal taxonomy, “Zootaxa,” in February this year.
Because the Eumunida balteipes has been confirmed to be a new species, the exhibition of the living squat lobster at the aquarium now becomes the first in the world. So far, 25 species of the tribe has been discovered in the world and the Eumunida balteipes at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is the 26th.
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium plans to continue exhibiting their Eumunida balteipes through the end of March.