Critter of the Week, spiny sea slater Brucerolis brandtae
This week we thought we would go back to the beginning and revisit our very first Critter, which many of you may not have seen. Let’s take another look at the spiny sea slater Brucerolis brandtae.
Serolid are a family of sea slaters, isopods, and you may be excused for thinking they look like those fossil trilobites. Serolides are can be considered as one of the trilobite imposters but they are not at all related to them.
This serolid species is very common between 490 and 1700m along the eastern margin of New Zealand (Chatham Rise, Bounty Plateau, and northern Campbell Plateau). It is one of the four endemic species in this genus known in New Zealand (all of the currently known serolids, in three genera, are considered endemic).
The face behind the name
And continuing on the theme of the face behind the name series, here we have a double whammy: the genus Brucerolis is named after Dr. Niel Bruce at the Queensland Museum in honour of his work on these animals in New Zealand (a play on names, from Serolis to Brucerolis). The species name ‘brandtae’ is in honour of Professor Angelika Brandt at the University of Hamburg who has also long studied these critters, primarily in Antarctica.