Wednesday, May 31, 2017

[Tunicata • 2017] Rhopalaea bilobata • A New Species of Sea Squirt (Ascidiacea: Diazonidae) from the Andaman Islands, India

 Rhopalaea bilobata 
Mondal, Raghunathan & Mondal, 2017 

 Rhopalaea bilobata, a new species of the class Ascidiacea, under the family Diazonidae has been described from the Andaman Islands of Andaman & Nicobar, India. The species was found in sandy bottoms, reef areas and artificial structures at a depth range of 10–40 m. This species has bilobed anal border, six lobed branchial and atrial siphons, transparent thorax with pigmented spots at the anus, between the two siphons and at the anterior end of endostyle, and ramified basal test. The species is closely related to R. idonetaRmacrothorax and R. tenuis in several sets of anatomical and morphological features.

Keywords: Anal border, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Ascidians, Rhopalaea, Tunicata.

Etymology: The species bears distinctive triangular bilobed anal border.

Distribution: India: Havelock Island, Trilby Island and Pongibalu of Andaman Islands.
Jhimli Mondal, C. Raghunathan and Tamal Mondal. 2017. A New Species of Sea Squirt, Rhopalaea bilobata (Ascidiacea: Diazonidae) from the Andaman Islands, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa.  9(5); 10187–10193.  DOI: 10.11609/jott.2620.9.5.10187-10193

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