Sunday, December 13, 2020

[Invertebrate • 2020] Wataloricus japonicus • A New Genus and Species of Loricifera (Nanaloricida: Pliciloricidae) from the Deep Waters of Japan

Wataloricus japonicus
Fujimoto, Yamasaki, Kimura, Ohtsuka & Kristensen, 2020

In this paper, we describe Wataloricus japonicus gen. et sp. nov. (phylum Loricifera), based on specimens collected during surveys of Japanese waters in the Northwest Pacific conducted onboard the TR/Vs TOYOSHIO MARU and SEISUI MARU. This new loriciferan is placed in the family Pliciloricidae based on the morphology of the adult lorica and Higgins larval internal armature, setae, and toes. It is readily distinguished from other pliciloricid genera by the following combination of characters: adult with a long rigid mouth tube bearing an umbrella-like membrane that extrudes from the mouth opening; a double organ consisting of two untransformed separate spinoscalids; 15 single trichoscalids; and approximately 46 longitudinal folds in the lorica and anal field; and Higgins larva with clavoscalids characterized by ventral swelling and spine-like tip; short unsegmented spinoscalids of the second scalid row; indistinct collar, heavily wrinkled thorax; two pairs of anterior setae; two pairs of posterior setae; and slender toes with sub-terminal swelling. The new genus described herein appears to be synonymous with a previously reported undescribed genus sensu Heiner and Neuhaus (2007) from the Galapagos Spreading Centre, thereby indicating that the geographical distribution of the new genus may at least span the entire Pacific region.

Keywords: Deep sea, Meiofauna, Northwest Pacific, Sea of Kumano, Systematics, Yaku-Shin-Sone bank

Phylum Loricifera Kristensen, 1983 
Order Nanaloricida Kristensen, 1983 

Family Pliciloricidae Higgins & Kristensen, 1986 

Genus Wataloricus gen. nov.

Etymology. The genus name (masculine gender) derives from Wata, an old Japanese word for sea, and loricus, an originally feminine Latin noun (lorica), meaning corset. It also expresses our surprise in finding this taxon: Wat-a-loricus (What a loriciferan)!

 Wataloricus japonicus gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology. The species name refers to the country of origin.

Shinta Fujimoto, Hiroshi Yamasaki, Taeko Kimura, Susumu Ohtsuka and Reinhardt Møbjerg Kristensen. 2020. A New Genus and Species of Loricifera (Nanaloricida: Pliciloricidae) from the Deep Waters of Japan. Marine Biodiversity. 50: 103.  DOI: 10.1007/s12526-020-01130-3