New shrimp found in Cape

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS -

SOUTH African aca­demics iden­ti­fied a tiny new shrimp, called the “stargazer mysid” by divers be­cause of its eyes’ ap­par­ent per­ma­nent up­ward gaze, in the wa­ters of False Bay, Cape Town. The shrimp, which is 10mm to 15mm long, is the ninth Mysi­dop­sis species found in south­ern Africa. It is of­fi­cially named Mysi­dop­sis zsilaveczi after the diver, Guido Zsilavecz, who made the dis­cov­ery, ac­cord­ing to the Univer­sity of Cape Town. The creature is de­scribed in a joint pa­per by Pro­fes­sor Charles Grif­fiths from UCT and Pro­fes­sor Karl Wittmann from the Univer­sity of Vi­enna, pub­lished re­cently in the Crus­taceana jour­nal. The crus­tacean’s ap­par­ently large, up­ward-star­ing eyes were a trick of na­ture, as shrimps had no pupil or iris, Grif­fiths said. The crea­tures had com­pound eyes like those of in­sects. The vivid, ringed pat­terns were thought to be there to make the eyes ap­pear to be­long to a much big­ger creature, and hence to scare off preda­tors, he said. Zsilavecz also found a new species of nudi­branch, a soft- bod­ied sea slug, at Long Beach in Cape Town. “Some 30 new marine species are found in South African wa­ters an­nu­ally,” Grif­fiths said. – Sapa

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