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Morphological and molecular data suggest a cosmopolitan distribution of the polychaete Proscoloplos cygnochaetus Day, 1954 (Annelida, Orbiniidae)
Meyer, A.; Bleidorn, C.; Rouse, G.W.; Hausen, H. (2008). Morphological and molecular data suggest a cosmopolitan distribution of the polychaete Proscoloplos cygnochaetus Day, 1954 (Annelida, Orbiniidae). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 153(5): 879-889. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-007-0860-4
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Meyer, A.
  • Bleidorn, C.
  • Rouse, G.W.
  • Hausen, H.

Abstract
    The discovery of a possibly invasive Proscoloplos species on the French Atlantic coast led to a detailed morphological and molecular investigation. Proscoloplos consists of three nominal species, but molecular analyses of the variable ITS1 and ITS2 region revealed no clade support for samples from South Africa, France and Australia, representing at least two of these nominal species. We found no unambiguous diagnostic characters for the three different species even with scanning electron microscopy. Two main characters—first appearance of branchiae and hooks—that were used for species delineation show considerable intrapopulational variation and do not withstand critical evaluation. The obtained data and the observed regenerative capabilities point to a cautious use of the position of branchiae and hooked chaetae as taxonomic marker in Proscoloplos. After experimental bisection of animals, the recovery led to a phenotype without recognizable signs of regeneration, but neither branchiae nor hooked chaetae reoccurred at the same initial segmental position. Summarising the molecular and morphological data we suggest the synonymy of the known Proscoloplos species under the senior synonym Proscoloplos cygnochaetus Day, 1967. The enormous geographic range of this species comprises the temperate waters of the whole southern hemisphere and includes the French population. We discuss a dispersal enabled through the effective anchorage on vessels using mucous glands and chaetae possibly combined with architomic reproduction.

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