Biodiversity is one of the keys to a healthy ecosystem, and assessing biodiversity in a changing world is one of the top priories of scientists around the world, only then can we know what needs to be protected. Conservation Diver Trainer, Rahul Mehrotra at the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program (NHRCP) has been working hard for over 5 years now to record the diversity of sea slugs on the island of Koh Tao, Thailand. More recently, he has also turned this work into a PhD thesis project at Chulalongkorn University, in Bangkok.
The project has yielded some interesting results, with over 120 species of nudibranchs and sea slugs recorded for the island, bringing the total for Thaialnd to 240. A few of the species that Rahul and the rest of the NHRCP team have found are new species, or not yet described or named scientifically. Recently Rahul described one of these species, belonging to the genera Armenia. This new species, is now named Armina scotti, and is has first been described on Koh Tao, but can be found in other areas in the region.
The full paper, On the genus Armina (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia: Nudibranchia) in Thailand, has been published in the Journal of Marine Biodiveristy. Also keep an eye out this upcoming year for the publication of a Sea Slug guide to the Gulf of Thailand, including the over 120 species so far identified for the region.
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