Scientists discovered 20 new gnat species in Brazil

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Credit: Olavi Kurina/wwf.org

Due to the heterogenity of natural habitats and its dimension, Brazil is thought to hold 15 – 20% of the biodiversity on planet Earth. A study conducted in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest under the leadership of senior researcher Olavi Kurina from the Chair of Biodiversity and Nature Tourism at Estonian University of Life Sciences could only confirm this theory.

The Atlantic Forest ecoregion in Brazil is an area with diverse nature, following the coastline of the country and embracing tropical, subtropical and mangrove forests, also shrubland and grassland, described Olavi Kurina. "There are many endemic species known in this region."

In addition to the known biodiversity, in September the researches described in these rainforests 20 gnat species in the genus Manota that were new to science. The described species belong to the family of fungus gnats (Mycetophilidae) and are small flies, from 1.5 to 3mm long, with specific differences lying mainly in terminal morphology of the male specimens, specified Olavi Kurina.

The new species received scientific names by their morphological features and in honour of colleagues who had contributed to the research. As a result of zoogeographic analysis, a discrepancy was described between the comparatively wide distribution of the Manota species and the areas of endemism known for Diptera in South America and in Brazilian Atlantic Forest particularly.

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The study, the first in-depth treatment of the genus Manota in Brazil, was carried out in cooperation with Estonian University of Life Sciences, University of Turku and University of São Paulo. The type material of the new species is deposited in the insect collections of Estonian University of Life Sciences and University of São Paulo (international acronyms IZBE and MZUSP, respectively).

The scientific journal Zootaxa, a mega journal for zoological taxonomists in the world, published an article on this topic: http://www.mapress.com/j/zt/article/view/zootaxa.4472.1.1.

Media Contact

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Related Journal Article

http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4472.1.1

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