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A new species of symbiotic flatworms, Paracatenula galateia sp. nov. (Platyhelminthes: Catenulida: Retronectidae) from Belize (Central America)
Dirks, U.; Gruber-Vodicka, H.R.; Leisch, N.; Sterrer, W.; Ott, J.A. (2011). A new species of symbiotic flatworms, Paracatenula galateia sp. nov. (Platyhelminthes: Catenulida: Retronectidae) from Belize (Central America). Mar. Biol. Res. 7(8): 769-777
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo; Basingstoke. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Meiofauna; Catenulida [WoRMS]; Paracatenula galateia; Platyhelminthes [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Dirks, U.
  • Gruber-Vodicka, H.R.
  • Leisch, N.
  • Sterrer, W.
  • Ott, J.A.

Abstract
    Paracatenula galateia sp. nov. is a mouthless marine catenulid platyhelminth with bacterial intracellular endosymbionts. The worms live in shallow back-reef sands in the Belize Barrier Reef system and are distinguished from the four previously described members of the genus by their large size combined with a ribbon-shaped body and characteristic bipartite inclusions in cells, which are interpreted as sperm. The bacteria are presumed to be sulphur-oxidizing chemoautotrophs. They are found in bacteriocytes which fill the body region (‘trophosome region’) posterior to the brain, whereas the anterior part of the worm (rostrum) is bacteria-free. Phalloidin staining reveals a delicate system of subepitheliar circular and longitudinal muscles and dorsoventral fibres. The serotonergic nervous system consists of a brain at the base of the rostrum and longitudinal fibres extending both anteriorly and posteriorly, the latter being concentrated in a structure called the ‘dorsal cord’.

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