New Species Discovered on Wrangel Island
Unique finding in the Natural Reserve "Wrangel Island"
In September this year during the works on monitoring of Alaska-Chukotka polar bear population, A.B. Tyuryakov, senior researcher from Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (Roshydromet), S.E. Belikov (PhD in Biology), senior researcher from the All-Russian Institute for Nature Protection, together with the director of the Nature Reserve A.B. Gruzdev (PhD in Biology), found a stone of unusual shape in the stream bed near Cape Uering. The stone resembled spinal bone or joint. The sample was delivered to the research vessel Akademik Tryoshnikov in Saint Petersburg. In October, A. Gruzdev passed the sample to the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The first examinations showed that the experts paleontologists had two spinal bones of a fossil animal in front of them. Presumably, the found parts of the skeleton belong to Plesiosaurus that lived in ancient seas. The finding is being examined by the specialists from the Zoological Museum. It is the first finding of this kind on the Wrangel Island.
From July to September a scientific expedition of the Geological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) worked on the Island. The researchers managed to prove the findings of corals made in the 1960s. The age of the corals is estimated to be about 420 million years (Silurian deposit in the lower course of the Lemmingovaya River). Corals were also located in the coal formations (300-320 million years) on the Viyuchny mountain pass and in the coast outcropping of the river Somnitelnaya. The most interesting and rare finding were the clamshells found in the Triassic deposits in the South of the Island вЂ“ in the outflow of the river Krasnaya. Their age, according to preliminary estimates, is about 216-203 million years ago. The found collections of faunal remains have been passed to the experts for examination and specification of the age of inclosing deposits.
In 2006 A. Khruleva, PhD (Biology), fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences Severtsov A. N. Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE RAS), collected data on terrestrial arthopods caught primarily with the use of Barber pitfall traps. Y. Marusik (Aranei), M. Klepikov (Geometridae), I. Kerzhner (Heteroptera) took part in data analysis.
Among the species collected in 2006 the species new for Wrangel island were:
Dictyna major Menge, 1871 Family: Linyphiidae
Monocerellus montanus Tanasevitch , 1983
Oreoneta alpina (Eskov, 1987)
Selmjicola beringianus (Eskov, 1989)
Lygaeidae (a new family for Wrangel island)
Nysius groenlandicus (Zetterstedt, 1840)
The finding that is especially interesting is larva bug Nysius ?groenlandicus; found in three regions of the island; all the rest of the species were collected in singular locations. Not less than three species of aphid were found in 2006 (personal statement by A. Stekolschikov).
Author: I. Menyushina, PhD (Biology)