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A morphometric analysis of the genus Terschellingia (Nematoda: Linhomoeidae) with redefinition of the genus and key to the species

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2009

M. Armenteros
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigaciones Marinas, Universidad de La Habana, 16 # 114, CP 11300, Playa, Ciudad Habana, Cuba Marine Biology Section, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
A. Ruiz-Abierno
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigaciones Marinas, Universidad de La Habana, 16 # 114, CP 11300, Playa, Ciudad Habana, Cuba
M. Vincx
Affiliation:
Marine Biology Section, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
W. Decraemer*
Affiliation:
Department of Invertebrates, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium Nematology Section, Ghent University, Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: W. Decraemer, Nematology Section, Ghent University, Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Ghent, Belgium email: wilfrida.decraemer@ugent.be

Abstract

The cosmopolitan and often ecologically dominant genus Terschellingia (Nematoda: Linhomoeidae), with 38 nominal species, is taxonomically a problematic taxon. Its species show high morphological plasticity, possess few diagnostic characters and identification keys are lacking. A revision of the genus was carried out based on morphological and morphometric data from the literature and from observations of specimens collected in Cienfuegos Bay, Caribbean Sea, Cuba. The diagnosis of the genus Terschellingia is emended. Of the current 38 nominal species, 15 are considered as valid species based on morphological characters related to size and position of amphidial fovea, presence/position of cephalic and cervical setae, presence/size/shape of pharyngeal bulb, shape of spicular apparatus and shape of tail. Tabular and pictorial keys were provided based on these characters. Three sympatric species: T. communis, T. gourbaultae and T. longicaudata were redescribed based on recently collected Cuban specimens. Each of them showed relatively large differences in body size in comparison with the respective type specimens, suggesting possible variation due to local environmental differences. The highest intraspecific variation pertains for the most widely spread cosmopolitan species T. longicaudata, suggesting that morphological plasticity enhanced adaptation to different environmental conditions. The notable taxonomic inflation within the genus (14 species inquirendae, 9 junior synonyms), probably also present in other highly specious genera of marine nematodes, can lead to an overestimation of the alpha-diversity.

Type
Review
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2009

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A morphometric analysis of the genus Terschellingia (Nematoda: Linhomoeidae) with redefinition of the genus and key to the species
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A morphometric analysis of the genus Terschellingia (Nematoda: Linhomoeidae) with redefinition of the genus and key to the species
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