Saturday, May 28, 2016

[Invertebrate • 2013] Tritetrabdella kinabaluensis • Genetics and Morphology of the Genus Tritetrabdella (Hirudinea, Haemadipsidae) from the Mountainous Rain Forests of Sabah, Borneo, Reveal A New Species with Two New Subspecies


Tritetrabdella kinabaluensis  Kappes, 2013

Abstract 
Blood-feeding terrestrial leeches of the family Haemadipsidae are a notorious part of the invertebrate diversity in Asian and Australian rain forests. All hitherto published records of terrestrial leeches of Borneo belong to the genus Haemadipsa. Here, a second, poorly known haemadipsid genus is reported from Mount Kinabalu and Crocker Range National Park. The individuals were barcoded and compared to sequences available in GenBank. The results show that the genus Tritetrabdella has representatives in the Indochinese and the Sundaic bioregions. All six specimens from Borneo are from a single new Tritetrabdella lineage, Tritetrabdella kinabaluensis spec. nov. Within the Bornean lineage, two groups differing 4-5% in the COI barcoding sequence were identified. Because 1) it is probable that haemadipsid COI is subjected to base pair substitution rates of 2.5% per Ma, 2) COI protein sequences were the same within the Bornean material, 3) color can change as a response to the environment, 4) the lineages inhabit different altitudes in separate areas and 5) only six individuals were found, a conservative approach was taken and the groups were tentatively given subspecies status: T. k. kinabaluensis ssp. nov. and T. k. inobongensis ssp. nov. The ecology and the conservation status of the Bornean Tritetrabdella warrant urgent assessment because the genus Tritetrabdella is considered as mainly feeding on amphibians and probably small mammals, and thus can be predicted to be sensitive to climatic fluctuations, forest disturbances and fragmentation, and amphibian decline.

Key words: Annelida, Clitellata, ecological specialization, genetic distance, parasite, phylogeny, speciation, tropical mountains


Fig. 3. Color variation in Tritetrabdella kinabaluensis spec. nov. from the three locations:
a) and b) T. k. inobongensis ssp. nov. from Inobong substation; c) T. k. kinabaluensis ssp. nov. (SP13398) from Gunung Alab; d) T. k. kinabaluensis ssp. nov. (SP13306) from Kinabalu Park Headquarters; e) ventro-lateral closeup of the head region (SP13398, ethanol-preserved); f) comparison of ethanol-preserved individuals (from left to right: SP13398, SP13306, and SP13383; lateral incisions are from tissue removal for DNA extraction). The yellowish color in the preserved SP13306 occurred during ethanol preservation.

Systematics

Phylum: Annelida
Class: Clitellata
Subclass: Hirudinea

Order: Arhynchobdellida
Suborder: Hirudiniformes

Family: Haemadipsidae Blanchard, 1893

Genus: Tritetrabdella Moore, 1937

Tritetrabdella kinabaluensis spec. nov. (Figs 1-7)
The type of the new species is proposed to be the same as that of its nominal subspecies Tritetrabdella kinabaluensis kinabaluensis ssp. nov., namely, Sabah Parks collection number SP13398.


Tritetrabdella kinabaluensis kinabaluensis ssp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after the sacred mountain, Mount Kinabalu, in Crocker Range, Sabah, Borneo.

 Diagnosis. Dorsum of unstressed individuals creamy-white with three darker, brownish stripes with black border, one median stripe located dorsally, the other two stripes supramarginally on each side (Fig. 3d). Brownish stripes somewhat variable in coloration (Fig. 3): middle field dark brown to median brown, bordered by rather broad blackish lines, loops form ‘bubbles’ or circles which reach the lateral stripes (Fig. 3), lateral

Etymology. Named after the sacred mountain, Mount Kinabalu, in Crocker Range, Sabah, Borneo.

Distribution. So far, only known from two locations, namely Gunung Alab in Crocker Range National Park and Mount Kinabalu Park Headquarters, in Sabah, Borneo, at altitudes between 1500 and 1900 m.a.s.l.

Ecology. So far, only known from cold and moist mossy temperate rain forests on acidic soils, one at an often cloud-covered mountain top. Its host(s) are unknown, but the two specimens somehow were attracted to man.


Tritetrabdella kinabaluensis inobongensis ssp. nov.

Etymology. Named as coming from the Inobong substation in Crocker Range, Sabah, Borneo, where the specimens were collected.

Distribution. So far, only known from the type locality in Crocker Range.

Ecology. So far, only known to occur in low altitude dipterocarp forests. Its host(s) are unknown, but the specimens seemed to be attracted by man.


Heike Kappes. 2013. Genetics and Morphology of the Genus Tritetrabdella (Hirudinea, Haemadipsidae) from the Mountainous Rain Forests of Sabah, Borneo, Reveal A New Species with Two New Subspecies. Contributions to Zoology. 82(4) 185-197.

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