Blog

All is revealed: the Kermadec Biodiscovery Expedition

By: Dr Shane Ahyong, Mark McGrouther, Dr Stephen Keable, Dr Mandy Reid, Category: AMRI, Date: 26 Oct 2015

The long-awaited volume reporting on discoveries made on the 2011 Kermadec Expedition is now hot off the press.

Kermadec expedition participants

Kermadec expedition participants
Photographer: S. Ullrich © Australian Museum

In late 2011 we participated in an expedition to the remote Kermadec Islands north of New Zealand as part of a collaborative project with the Auckland Museum to survey the biodiversity of the area. Some of our discoveries have just been published, revealing new species, records for species not previously known to occur among the islands, and, to us personally, just how beautiful and species-rich a fully protected marine environment can be.

The Kermadec Islands are of special interest for marine biologists because they straddle tropical and temperate zones, and, being so far from other land, are important stepping-stone habitats for marine life.

A special issue of the Bulletin of the Auckland Museum has just been published, which details some of the results from the expedition. Seven of the 24 papers in the volume are authored by Australian Museum Research Institute staff and associates, with an additional three papers produced by direct networking and Australian Museum loans.

Among the discoveries are a new species of octopus, five new species of shrimps and crabs, a snail, a new sponge and a new species of hydroid together with new records for eighteen coastal fish species from 12 families. This has added much new type and other material to our collections. The specimens are still being studied and the entire collection will be a valuable resource for future reference.

The papers describe a number of new species and document many new distribution records that not only show connectivity with the Australian fauna but also provide new information on far-reaching western Pacific links.

 

Dr Shane Ahyong, Senior Research Scientist, Marine Invertebrates
Mark McGrouther, Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Dr Steve Keable, Collection Manager, Marine Invertebrates
Dr Mandy Reid, Collection Manager, Malacology

 

Acknowledgements:
Our participation in the expedition was made possible through a grant provided from the Australian Museum Foundation from the Patricia Porritt Collection Acquisition Fund.

 

More information:
The papers from the bulletin are freely available at http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/collections-research/research/publications/bulletin/number-20-kermadec

Kermadec Biodiscovery Expedition 2011, List of contents

  • Ahyong, S.T. (2015) Decapod Crustacea of the Kermadec Biodiscovery Expedition 2011. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 405–442.
  • Bird, G.J. (2015) Tanaidacea (Crustacea: Peracarida) of the Kermadec Biodiscovery Expedition 2011, with a new sub-family of Paratanaidae: Metatanainae. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 369–404.
  • Cameron, E.K. & Sykes, W.R. (2015) Pittosporum rangitahua sp. nov., from Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands, northern New Zealand. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 253–262.
  • Chinn, W.G.H. (2015) The Kermadec Islands terrestrial invertebrate fauna: observations on the taxonomic distribution and island biogeography. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 443–462.
  • de Lange, P.J. (2015a) Recent vegetation succession and flora of Macauley Island, southern Kermadec Islands. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 207–230.
  • de Lange, P.J. (2015b) The flora and vegetation of L’Esperance Rock, southern Kermadec Islands. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 231–242.
  • de Lange, P.J. (2015c) The flora and vegetation of Cheeseman Island, southern Kermadec Islands. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 243–252.
  • de Lange, P.J. & Beever, J.E. (2015) A checklist of the mosses of the Kermadec Islands. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 183–205.
  • de Lange, P.J. & Blanchon, D.J. (2015) Lichen notes from the Kermadec Islands. II. Ramalina. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 171–181.
  • de Lange, P.J. & Galloway, D.J. (2015) Lichen notes from the Kermadec Islands. I. Lobariaceae. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 141–170.
  • Duffy, C.A.J. & Ahyong, S.T. (2015) Annotated checklist of the marine fauna and flora of the Kermadec Islands Marine Reserve and northern Kermadec Ridge, New Zealand. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 19–124.
  • Duffy, C.A., Baker, C.S & Constantine, R. (2015). Observation and identification of marine mammals during two recent expeditions to the Kermadecs. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 501–510.
  • Duffy, C.A.J. & Taylor, C.G. (2015) Predation on seabirds by large teleost fishes in norther New Zealand. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 497–500.
  • Furey, L. Ross-Sheppard, C., & Prickett, K. E. (2015) Obsidian from Macauley Island: a New Zealand connection. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 511–518.
  • Francis, M.P. & Duffy, C.A.J. (2015). New records, checklist and biogeography of Kermadec Islands’ coastal fishes. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 481–495.
  • Keable, S.J. & Reid, A.L. (2015) Marine invertebrates collected during the Kermadec Biodiscovery Expedition 2011. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 263–310.
  • Kelly, M., Amirapu, S., Mills, S., Page, M. & Reiswig, H. (2015) Kermadec Islands sponge biodiversity: a review and description of a new species, Suberea meandrina sp. nov. (Demospongiae, Verongiida, Aplysinellidae). Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 311–324.
  • Nelson, W.A. & Dalen, J.L. (2015) Marine macroalgae of the Kermadec Islands. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 125–140.
  • Reid, A.L. & Wilson, N.G. (2015) Octopuses of the Kermadec Islands: discovery and description of a new member of the Octopus ‘vulgaris’ complex (O. jollyorum, sp. nov.) and the first description of a male Callistoctopus kermadecensis (Berry, 1914). Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 349–368.
  • Richards, Z.T. & Liggins, L. (2015) Scleractinian corals and crown-of-thorns seastars of the Kermadec Islands. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 337–340.
  • Trnski, T. & de Lange, P.J. (2015) Introduction to the Kermadec Biodiscovery Expedition 2011. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 1–18.
  • Trnski, T., Duffy, C. A. J., Francis, M. P., McGrouther, M. A., Stewart, A. L., Struthers, C. D., and Zintzen, V. (2015) Recent collections of fishes at the Kermadec Islands and new records for the region. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 463–480.
  • Watson, J.E. (2015) Hydroids (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa: Hydroidolina) from the Kermadec Islands. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 325–336.
  • Willan, R.C. & Beechey, D. (2015) Description of Nassarius berniceae (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Nassariidae): a new species. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, 20: 341–347.

Tags expedition, marine biodiversity, new species, AMRI, Australian Museum Research Institute,