Dorottya Angyal, zoologist researches invertebrates living in underwater caves in Yucatán State, Mexico. The alumna of the University of Szeged (SZTE) and her research group have recently found a new amphipod species.
“During an expedition in 2016 I noticed a species of amphipod that I had neither seen, nor read about before. Later we found further specimens under depths of 20 m, in the dark cave zone. We examined the collected specimens with the help of a light microscope and a scanning electron microscope. Based on their DNA and in comparison with other amphipod families in Yucatán, we have found information about the species’ genealogical connections. In the animal’s name the segment ‘troglomorpha’ refers to the high level of adaption to hypogean environment: this 10 mm-long, fragile, blind, colourless animal has extremely elongated antennae and gressorial legs, and there are numerous sensory setae and papillae on their limbs, which enable it to detect mechanical and chemical stimuli in the lightless environment,” says Dorottya Angyal about the discovery of the previously unknown amphipod species, Mayaweckelia troglomorpha.