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Scientists announce top 10 new species; issue SOS
Date:5/24/2009

palm Tahina spectablilis with fewer than 100 individuals found only in a small area of northwestern Madagascar. This plant flowers itself to death, producing a huge, spectacular terminal inflorescence with countless flowers. After fruiting, the palm dies and collapses. Soon after the original publication of the species description, seeds were disseminated throughout the palm grower community, to raise money for its conservation by the local villagers. It has since become a highly prized ornamental.

Also on the top 10 list is caffeine-free coffee from Cameroon. Coffea charrieriana is the first record of a caffeine-free species from Central Africa. The plant is named for Professor Andr Charrier, "who managed coffee breeding research and collecting missions at IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Dveloppement) during the last 30 years of the 20th century."

And, in the category of "spray on new species" is an extremophile bacteria that was discovered in hairspray by Japanese scientists. The species Microbacterium hatanonis was named in honor of Kazunori Hatano, "for his contribution to the understanding of the genus Microbacterium."

Phobaeticus chani made the list as the world's longest insect with a body length of 14 inches (36.6 centimeters) and overall length of 22.3 inches (56.7 centimeters). The insect, which resembles a stick, was found in Borneo, Malaysia.

The Barbados Threadsnake Leptotyphlops carlae measuring 4.1 inches (104 millimeters) is believed to be the world's smallest snake. It was discovered in St. Joseph Parish, Barbados.

The ghost slug Selenochlamys ysbryda was a surprising find in the well-collected and densely populated area of Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales.

A snail Opisthostoma vermiculum found in Malaysia, represents a unique morphological evolution, with a shell that twists around four axes. It is endemic to a unique limestone hill h
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Contact: Carol Hughes
carol.hughes@asu.edu
480-965-6375
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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