A new genus of Nanaloricidae (Loricifera) from deep-sea sediments of volcanic origin in the Kilinailau north of Papua New Guinea
|Title||A new genus of Nanaloricidae (Loricifera) from deep-sea sediments of volcanic origin in the Kilinailau north of Papua New Guinea|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2004|
|Journal||Helgoland Marine Research|
A new genus and species of Nanaloricidae (Loricifera), Phoeniciloricus simplidigitatus, is described inhabiting fine sand covered by a layer of volcanic ash at a water depth of 1,813 m in the New Ireland Basin near the Kilinailau Trench (north of Papua New Guinea). The described specimen is a postlarva enclosed in a larval exuvium. This is the first report of a species belonging to the Nanaloricidae from the deep sea. This occurrence is surprising, because Nanaloricidae are typical inhabitants of coarse sands in the intertidal or littoral zone. Preference for these shallow water habitats is reflected in many morphological features which characterize the Nanaloricidae, and are not normally found in Loricifera inhabiting fine-grained, clayish, deep-sea bottoms. The postlarva of the new species is characterized by a long narrow mouth tube, an urn-shaped lorica divided into ten plates, and 13 small lorica spikes. Distinguishing features of the Higgins-larva include short spinose toes lacking mucros but having small and slightly enlarged bases, short scalids on the introvert, many thoracic plates arranged in 6-8 rows, numerous small papillate flosculi in the collar and caudal regions, and three pairs of filiform, short locomotory appendages on the ventral side. Some features of the new species, especially of the Higgins-larva, are discussed as adaptations to the deep-sea environment.