Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Astrocoryne cabela, gen. nov. et sp. nov. (Hydrozoa : Sphaerocorynidae), a new sponge-associated hydrozoan

Davide Maggioni A B D , Paolo Galli A B , Michael L. Berumen C , Roberto Arrigoni C , Davide Seveso A B and Simone Montano A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 2, 20126, Milano, Italy.

B MaRHE Center, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Magoodhoo Island, Faafu Atoll, Republic of Maldives.

C Red Sea Research Center, Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia.

D Corresponding author. Email: davide.maggioni@unimib.it

Invertebrate Systematics 31(6) 734-746 https://doi.org/10.1071/IS16091
Submitted: 24 December 2016  Accepted: 10 April 2017   Published: 16 November 2017

Abstract

The family Sphaerocorynidae includes two valid genera and five species, most of which have a confusing taxonomic history. Here, a new genus and species, Astrocoryne cabela, gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Maldives and the Red Sea, based on both morphological and molecular evidence. Astrocoryne cabela has an apomorphy represented by the type of tentacles, here named ‘dicapitate’, and consisting of capitate tentacles with a proximal capitulum-like cluster of nematocysts. Molecular analyses confirmed the monophyly of this species, as well as its belonging to the Sphaerocorynidae, together with Sphaerocoryne spp. and Heterocoryne caribbensis Wedler & Larson, 1986, for which we present molecular data for the first time. Moreover, the high divergence of A. cabela from other species of the family justifies the establishment of a new genus. Interestingly, specimens from the Maldives and the Red Sea showed marked morphological variation in the polyp stage, although only a slight genetic divergence was detected. This study highlights that a comprehensive morpho-molecular assessment of Sphaerocorynidae is strongly needed in order to clarify the taxonomic issues and the diversity of this taxon.

Additional keywords: Capitata, new genus, new species, Maldives, Red Sea.


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