Yunnanilus is an ecologically important genus distributed in lakes, marshes, and slow-flowing waters, with an affinity for karstic areas. The known species of Yunnanilus are mainly from Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, and Guangxi Provinces of China, Inlé Lake of Myanmar and parts of Vietnam.
Recently, scientists from Kunming Institute of Zoology of Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered a new species of Yunnanilus, and named it Y. jiuchiensis. This study was published in Zootaxa.
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.
The newly discovered Y. jiuchiensis was recorded in 2018 from Tuojiang River, Pengzhou City, Sichuan Province, 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. Agriculture, organic pollution, pesticides, heavy metal loading, and habitat degradation all have great effects on these endemic species.
Until now, eight species of Yunnanilus were listed on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Y. jiuchiensis (Image by DU Lina)
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