A loriciferan specimen was found during a survey of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone conducted by Deep Ocean Resources Development Co. Ltd. (Japan). This specimen was extracted from sediment covering the polymetallic nodules collected from the abyssal plain (−5223 m). Based on the appearance of its annulated buccal tube, branched clavoscalids, and lorica with plates and anterior spikes, it was classified as an adult male belonging to the family Nanaloricidae. However, this nanaloricid exhibited novel character traits including serrated oral petals, atypical arrangement of the scalids on the introvert, and a lorica with 20 plates bearing 14 short anterior spikes. These characteristics justify the creation of Fafnirloricus polymetallicus gen. et sp. nov. Compared to the five nanaloricid genera with their adult/postlarval stages known, the short anterior spikes and lack of intercalary plicae suggest that this new genus and species is closely related to Phoeniciloricus, and based on its lorica we hypothesize that this new taxon is the most basal of Nanaloricidae.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology