A new record of a cryptogenic Dipolydora species (Annelida: Spionidae) in South Africa
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 March 2021
In this study we report a new record of a cryptogenic polychaete from southern Africa. The species was found inhabiting sand tubes in intertidal sand flats in the Knysna Estuary on the southern coast of South Africa. Morphological comparisons using light and scanning electron microscopy showed extensive taxonomic similarities with Dipolydora socialis described from other localities and from museum vouchers. In addition, 18S rRNA and COI barcodes were generated for the species. Genetic analysis of the assembled polydorid dataset corroborated the morphological data in delineating the species as a taxonomic unit with >99% genetic similarity to available sequences of D. socialis in the GenBank database. Dipolydora socialis has been reported as having a widespread distribution, and since it can reside within tubes associated with fouling communities or as a shell borer, several vectors may have been responsible for its global spread and introduction to southern Africa. Finally, considering the many cryptic complexes that are currently being uncovered within polychaetes, including spionids, future taxonomic studies should incorporate additional genetic data from other regions of the world to determine whether D. socialis may also be part of a larger species complex.
- Research Article
- Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom , Volume 101 , Issue 2 , March 2021 , pp. 271 - 278
- Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom