Recently, scientists from Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered a new species of Yunnanilus, and named as Y. jiuchiensis.
Yunnanilus is an ecologically important genus distributed in lakes, marshes, and slow-flowing waters, with an affinity for karstic areas. The species of Yunnanilus known from Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, and Guangxi regions of China as well as Inlé Lake of Myanmar and parts of Vietnam.
In the 1980s, Yunnanilus was known only from Yunnan, with nine species recorded in China. Over the following thirty years, three species have been described from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, one species each from Sichuan and Guizhou provinces, and 15 species from Yunnan Province.
A new species of Yunnanilus, named Y. jiuchiensis was recorded in 2018 from Tuojiang River, Pengzhou City, Sichuan, China. Until now, the genus of Yunnanilus currently contains 30 species.
Yunnanilus is very sensitive to water pollution and is an important indicator of water quality changes. Most species of Yunnanilus are restricted to small water bodies. Siltation from agriculture, organic pollution, pesticides, heavy metal loading, and habitat degradation has profoundly affected these endemic species. Until now, eight species of Yunnanilus was listed on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Therefore, the protection of the water environment is everyone's responsibility.
This work was published in Zootaxa. YANG Junxing, CHEN Xiaoyong, DU Lina are co-autors. This work was supported by grants from Special Funds for Young Scholars of Taxonomy of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ZSBR-011) and the Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y4ZK111B01).