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Scientists Discover Species of Ancient “Shrimp” at UVI Campus

A new species of Caribbean “clam shrimp” has been discovered at an unlikely place: the water hazards of the Herman E. Moore Golf Course at the University of the Virgin Islands’ (UVI) St. Thomas Campus. In an article published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Zoological Studies, Drs. D. Christopher Rogers from the University of Kansas and Edwin Cruz-Rivera from UVI’s Department of Biological Sciences write about their unexpected discovery. After comparing their specimens from UVI to other similar animals from museum collections, the researchers settled on the scientific name Eulimnadia insularis, which literally means “pleasant pond goddess from an island.” The finding underscores how much of the biodiversity in the Caribbean has yet to be discovered, even for areas that humans have been using for a long time. 

“It is very surprising that we would find a new species on a university campus that has been in use for decades and has a thriving biology program,” said Dr. Cruz-Rivera, associate professor of biology. The discovery came about as Dr. Cruz-Rivera and Dr. Rogers collaborated on a project to inventory freshwater animals on the island. “Relatively little is known about what freshwater animals are found on St. Thomas compared to St. Croix, St. John and Puerto Rico,” he said. “If you are trying to preserve an ecosystem, it is difficult to do if you don’t know exactly what you are trying to preserve.”

More information is available in a news release on the Media Section of the UVI Website- - and from this direct link