Eur. J. Entomol. 112 (2): 334-343, 2015 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2015.032

Biology, affinity and description of an unusual aquatic new genus and species of Isotomidae (Collembola) from high altitude lakes in Tasmania

Penelope GREENSLADE1,2,3, Mikhail POTAPOV4
1 Department of Environmental Management, School of Science, Information Technology and Engineering, Federation University, Ballarat, Victoria 3353, Australia; e-mail: pgreenslade@federation.edu.au
2 Department of Botany and Zoology, Australian National University, GPO Box Australian Capital Territory, 0200, Australia
3 South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
4 Moscow State Pedagogical University, Department of Zoology and Ecology, Moscow 129164, Kibalchicha 6 B5, Russia; e-mail: mpnk-abroad@yandex.ru

A new species of Isotomidae (Collembola) was collected from submerged stones on the edge of nine lakes on Tasmania's Central Highland Plateau. Because it did not comply fully with the characters of any existing genus, a new genus, Chionobora gen. n. is erected for it here. An Antarctic species, Desoria klovstadi (Carpenter), has characters which conform with the new genus so is formally transferred to the new genus here. The Antarctic Continent and Tasmania were last in proximity 60 million years b.p. so it is suggested both species are relicts persisting in probable ice-free refugia during glacial cycles. Gut contents of specimens of the new species exclusively contained diatoms in various stages of digestion and the species appears to graze on aquatic macrophytes, a feeding habit not recorded before for Collembola. We note the high numbers of endemic invertebrate taxa of restricted distributions in cold habitats of southern regions compared to warmer regions and stress their conservation values and threats to their populations.

Keywords: Collembola, Isotomidae, Chionobora amila, new genus, new species, Antarctica, diatoms, refugia, adversity selection

Received: August 30, 2014; Accepted: December 4, 2014; Prepublished online: February 3, 2015; Published: April 2, 2015

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