Philoscia affinis Verhoeff, 1908 new to Belgium (Isopoda: Philosciidae)

We report Philoscia affinis Verhoef, 1908 as a new species for the Belgian fauna. P. affinis has been overlooked for a long time in Belgium due to its close resemblance to the very common species Philoscia muscorum (Scopoli, 1763). The first specimens were found in December 2014 in a forest near Poperinge (West Flanders) and since its discovery the species has been recorded in 39 squares of the UTM 10x10 km grid. Revision of 1187 specimens of P. muscorum from the collection of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences revealed eight old records of P. affinis in Belgium, dating from 1938 till 1991. The identification, habitat preferences and the distribution in Belgium and the neighbouring countries of P. affinis are discussed in this article. We propose 'Bleke mospissebed' as Dutch name for P. affinis.

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