PSU discovered the world’s new species of sea cockroach which serves as food chain and ecological indicator

       Dr. Eknarin Rodcharoen, lecturer of Department of Marine Science, Faculty of Natural Resources, PSU, with Dr. Niel Bruce of Australia, and Associate Professor Dr. Pornsilp Pholpunthin discovered the world’s new species of sea cockroach which serves as food chain and ecological indicator.

       Isopod or sea cockroach, family of Crustacean, measured 0.5-2.0 cms residing on the ocean’s bottom floor. The creature is commonly found anywhere from tidal zone to deep sea and active at night. The cockroaches play important role in marine ecology and decomposition activity. It is also among the top of aquatic food chain. However, they cannot be found in severely polluted water. The specie spreads along the Andaman coast of Thailand but was found for the first time in Phuket province hence the name Cirolana phuketensis. The discovery has been published in ZooKeys magazine.

       Thailand and SE Asian countries had studied very little about the new sea cockroach especially taxonomy. But in the past five years, researchers have dedicated their attention and resources till discovering the new species. The finding shall benefit further studies, biodiversity assessment of Thai seawater, and describing bio-geographical change of Indo-pacific region.

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