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

The zoogeography of extant rhabdopleurid hemichordates (Pterobranchia : Graptolithina), with a new species from the Mediterranean Sea

Elena Beli A B G H , Giorgio Aglieri A , Francesca Strano A , Davide Maggioni C D , Max J. Telford E , Stefano Piraino A F G H and Christopher B. Cameron B G H
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, Provinciale Lecce – Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy.

B Département de sciences biologiques, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC, H3C 3J7, Canada.

C Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca Piazza della Scienza, 2, 20126, Milan, Italy.

D MaRHE Center, University of Milano-Bicocca, Magoodhoo Island, Faafu Atoll, Republic of Maldives.

E Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.

F CONISMA, Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare, Piazzale Flaminio 9, 00196 Roma, Italy.

G Senior authors.

H Corresponding authors. Email: elena.beli.sbarra@gmail.com; stefano.piraino@unisalento.it; c.cameron@umontreal.ca

Invertebrate Systematics 32(1) 100-110 https://doi.org/10.1071/IS17021
Submitted: 15 September 2016  Accepted: 31 May 2017   Published: 9 January 2018

Abstract

The early origin and evolutionary radiation of graptolites (Hemichordata : Pterobranchia) is a story told almost entirely in the fossil record, but for four extant species of the genus Rhabdopleura Allman, 1869. Here we report the discovery of a fifth species, Rhabdopleura recondita, sp. nov., at a depth range of 2–70 m from the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, always associated with bryozoans in coralligenous habitats. This is the first pterobranch record in Italian waters, and the second in the Mediterranean Sea. The new species is characterised by: (1) tubaria with smooth creeping tubes adherent to the inside of empty bryozoan zooecia; (2) erect outer tubes with a graptolite, fusellar-like organisation; and (3) zooids that extend from a black stolon, which is free from the creeping tube. Each of the paired feeding arms has two rows of tentacles that do not extend to the arm tip. The distal ends of the arms, the collar and the cephalic shield are replete with black granules. Phylogenetic analyses of individual and concatenated gene sequences of mitochondrial 16S rDNA and nuclear 18S rDNA support the validity of R. recondita as a new species. Finally, we discuss the global biogeographic and habitat distributions of the extant Rhabdopleura representatives.

http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:82C6A51E-F8F4-44AF-AD8F-16873BE80D03

Additional keywords: colonial hemichordates, DNA barcoding, integrative taxonomy, morphology, Rhabdopleuridae.


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