In the past year, together with our partners, we’ve described 139 new species.

Some new species, especially from deep marine environments, may never have been noticed before. Others are simply receiving a formal scientific name for the first time. Here are 10 you need to meet. 

New species of marine fish

We named three new anthias by comparing specimens of related species held in fish collections. 

Anthias are small, brightly coloured species closely related to commercially important rockcods and groupers. They live on coral (inshore and deep) or rocky reefs. Most species feed on plankton or small invertebrates. 

We named the Silverspot Weedfish, Heteroclinus argyrospilos, after studying two specimens collected from south-western Australia in 2000 and 2005.  

Weedfishes usually occur in inshore kelp and algal beds and almost all southern Australian species are endemic to our shores. 

A photo of Heteroclinus argyrospilos.
Heteroclinus argyrospilos (Silverspot Weedfish) is known from south-western Australia (SA & WA) in waters 55 to 100m deep. 

Newly named insects

We named 117 new insects, including two cave-dwelling weevils and an ant. 

Undarobius howarthi and U. irvini are new species of weevils. They belong in a new genus (a group of species) called Undarobius. They live in lava caves at Undara Volcanic National Park in north-eastern Queensland. 

Although these two weevil species don’t have eyes, patches of pigment and a lack of setae (bristly hairs), where the eyes would be, can look like eye spots. 

A photo of the insect Undarobius plate.
Undarobius howarthi and U. irvini.

The newly named ant Anonychomyrma inclinata cares for the larvae of the Bulloak Jewel butterfly Hypochrysops piceatus. This is one of Australia’s rarest butterflies. 

The ants nest in mature bulloak trees (Allocasuarina luehmannii) where they babysit the caterpillars. At night, the ants carry the caterpillars to soft bulloak leaves to feed, protecting them from predators and receiving a sugary treat in return. 

This ant can have more than 150,000 individuals in a colony. This is the highest colony size recorded for any Australian ant species. 

Curious photos

This photo is not a species portrait but a gall induced by the newly named gall wasp Antron lovellae. The gall is on a leaf of Quercus turbinella in Arizona, USA. 

A photo of a 'gall', a new species.
A gall induced by the gall wasp Antron lovellae. Credit: Ron Russo. 

This is a close-up of the male genitalia of the newly named male caddisfly, Barynema dolobratum. Details like this can be important for telling insect species apart. 

Lateral view of the genitalia of Barynema dolobratum.

This is a scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the sucker (mouth parts) of the newly discovered marine trematode Enenterum petrae. It’s a parasite that lives inside a species of marine fish, the Brassy Drummer. 

A microscopic view of Enenterum petrae.
Mouthparts of Enenterum petrae. Credit: Images by Daniel Huston, first published in Zootaxa. 

Naming species is one of the ways our National Research Collections Australia supports biodiversity. There are also 10 things you need to know about collections.


  1. If you don’t know what a gall is, as I didn’t, this might help:

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