The Loricifera fauna of the plateau of the Great Meteor Seamount
|Title||The Loricifera fauna of the plateau of the Great Meteor Seamount|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2004|
|Journal||Archive of Fishery and Marine Research|
The plateau of the Great Meteor Seamount is an isolated "sublittoral habitat" covered with coarse calcareous sand, which harbours an astonishingly diverse Loricifera fauna. The present study yielded 14 new species representing all known and three new genera. Detailed information is given about: (1) the distribution and abundance of Loricifera on the seamount, (2) many new morphological and phylogenetic features based on a new species related to the Nanaloricidae, which bridges the gap between Nanaloricidae and Pliciloricidae, and (3) new life stages and a life cycle of Rugiloricus with paedogenetic larvae. The six new species of Rogiloricus share features that differ from those of their congeners from other localities of the Atlantic. The question arises whether the plateau of the Great Meteor Seamount is inhabited by an endemic group of closely related Loricifera.