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Individual Highlight

New Species of Collembola Discovered in The Luquillo Experimental Forest in Puerto Rico

Photo of Illustration of the dorsal chaetotaxy of the body (1) and Antenna (2-3) of a Chollembola.Illustration of the dorsal chaetotaxy of the body (1) and Antenna (2-3) of a Chollembola.Snapshot : New records and described species of Collembola in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) have been identified with the objective to improve the knowledge of soil and litter fauna through the altitudinal gradient in northeastern Puerto Rico.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Gonzalez, Grizelle 
Research Location : Luquillo Experiental Forest
Research Station : International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF)
Year : 2020
Highlight ID : 1648


In most studies of litter and soil fauna in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF), tiny soil animals called 'Collembola' are an important group for ecosystem functioning because of their dominant abundance and their key responses to changes in disturbance, altitude and vegetation type. In Puerto Rico, collembolans are well known in comparison to other groups of soil arthropods. However, not all Collembola species from LEF have been identified. A University of Puerto Rico Ph.D. student Claudia Marcela Ospina-Sánchez under the guidance of US USDA Forest Service researcher Grizelle González studied the Collembola populations in a latitudinal gradient in LEF during 2014 and 2015. They identified 16 families, 37 genera and 60 species/morphospecies, and among these, 15 are new species to science. Using morphological differentiation, two new species were described and published in scientific peer review journals.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Maria Rivera-Costa
  • Claudia Marcela Ospina-Sánchez
  • Felipe Soto-Adames - University of Florida
  • Jose Palacios-Vargas - Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico