A new species of the caridean shrimp genus Discias Rathbun, 1902 is described from the Gulf of Aqaba in the northern Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Discias forsskali sp. nov. is unique within the genus Discias, combining the following morphological features: (1) rostrum elongate, triangular, pointed distally, non-lanceolate, with serrations on the lateral margins extending onto the orbital margin; (2) posterodorsal margins of all pleonites smooth, unarmed; (3) mandible with well-developed, biarticulated palp; (4) dactylus of third to fifth pereiopods with row of spinules on ventral margin, dactylus of fifth pereiopod smooth dorsally; (5) uropodal exopod with straight, non-serrated lateral margin; and (6) posterior margin of telson with nine (four pairs + one) spiniform setae. The holotype and single known specimen of the new species, an ovigerous female, was collected by ROV at a depth of 387.4 m.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-08-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FCC/1/1973-49-01
Acknowledgements: The author acknowledges the Saudi Arabian authorities and Neom, in particular, A. Abdulla, expedition leader, T. Habis, R. Khamis, P. Mackelworth, P. Marshall, J. Mynar, and G. Palavacini, for organising, coordinating, and facilitating the Deep Blue Expedition in 2020. The OceanX team, both in headquarters and onboard, is acknowledged for their operational and logistical support during the expedition, in particular, the captain and crew of OceanXplorer, M. Rodrigue, head of science operations, and the submersible team. The author is grateful to G. Chimienti for ensuring that the type specimen was collected and properly preserved, and to the rest of the scientific team onboard OceanX involved in sampling of benthos, namely S. Purkis, T. Terraneo, F. Marchese and F. Benzoni, for making the material available for study. Comparative material was collected by G. Paulay (FLMNH) and his team, whereas B. Galil (Steinhardt Museum of Natural History) helped finding an important article (Williamson 1970). The study was supported by KAUST (FCC/1/1973-49-01) and baseline research funds to F. Benzoni. The originally submitted manuscript was reviewed by S. De Grave and edited by S.T. Ahyong.