Thursday, August 27, 2015

[Invertebrate • 2015] Ommatoiulus avatar • New Dimension in Documenting New Species: High-Detail Imaging for Myriapod Taxonomy and First 3D Cybertype of a New Millipede Species (Diplopoda, Julida, Julidae)


Ommatoiulus avatar Akkari & Enghoff
An image of the 3D, micro-CT-generated avatar next to a preserved specimen of Ommatoiulus avatar. The species takes its name from its computer-generated avatar.

Abstract

We review the state-of-the-art approaches currently applied in myriapod taxonomy, and we describe, for the first time, a new species of millipede (Ommatoiulus avatar n. sp., family Julidae) using high-resolution X-ray microtomography (microCT) as a substantive adjunct to traditional morphological examination. We present 3D models of the holotype and paratype specimens and discuss the potential of this non-destructive technique in documenting new species of millipedes and other organisms. The microCT data have been uploaded to an open repository (Dryad) to serve as the first actual millipede cybertypes to be published.


Taxonomy

Order Julida Brandt, 1833
Family Julidae Leach, 1814
Tribe Schizophyllini Verhoeff, 1909

Genus Ommatoiulus Latzel, 1884
Ommatoiulus avatar Akkari and Enghoff n. sp. 
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:6CE666C0-56E2-402C-8EB1-A1907C9309EC

Diagnosis :Most similar to Ommatoiulus bavayi (Brölemann, 1897), with which it agrees in the shape of promerite and mesomerite and the way they fit closely together; also in the sinuous paracoxite. The two species differ, however, in the shape of the solenomerite, much broader and with a distal lamella in the new species, vs. with obviously narrower processes in Ommatoiulus bavayi. The paracoxite is much more serrated, broader and complex in the new species than in Ommatoiulus bavayi.

Etymology: In computing, an avatar is the digital representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character. The name here refers to the cybertype, which is a graphical representation of the physical holotype.

Distribution: Spain, Andalusia.

  
The micro-CT provides a detailed view of the male centipede's gonopods (red and yellow) body parts used in reproduction. Millipedes often have distinct gonopods, allowing researchers to identify newfound species by looking at the gonopods' unique structures.

 Fig 2. Ommatoiulus avatar n. sp.
Volume rendering highlighting genitalia and other sexual characters in the cybertypes. (A) Holotype male with highlighted gonopods, first pair of legs and mandibular stipites. (B) Paratype female with highlighted vulvae and eggs. Images not to scale.


Nesrine Akkari, Henrik Enghoff and Brian D. Metscher. 2015. A New Dimension in Documenting New Species: High-Detail Imaging for Myriapod Taxonomy and First 3D Cybertype of a New Millipede Species (Diplopoda, Julida, Julidae). PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135243

Photos: Creepy-Crawly Millipede Scanned in 3D
https://shar.es/1vp4g2 via @LiveScience


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