In this paper, we describe Wataloricus japonicus gen. et sp. nov. (phylum Loricifera), based on specimens collected during surveys of Japanese waters in the Northwest Pacific conducted onboard the TR/Vs TOYOSHIO MARU and SEISUI MARU. This new loriciferan is placed in the family Pliciloricidae based on the morphology of the adult lorica and Higgins larval internal armature, setae, and toes. It is readily distinguished from other pliciloricid genera by the following combination of characters: adult with a long rigid mouth tube bearing an umbrella-like membrane that extrudes from the mouth opening; a double organ consisting of two untransformed separate spinoscalids; 15 single trichoscalids; and approximately 46 longitudinal folds in the lorica and anal field; and Higgins larva with clavoscalids characterized by ventral swelling and spine-like tip; short unsegmented spinoscalids of the second scalid row; indistinct collar, heavily wrinkled thorax; two pairs of anterior setae; two pairs of posterior setae; and slender toes with sub-terminal swelling. The new genus described herein appears to be synonymous with a previously reported undescribed genus sensu Heiner and Neuhaus (2007) from the Galapagos Spreading Centre, thereby indicating that the geographical distribution of the new genus may at least span the entire Pacific region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science