Comparative molecular and morphological species delineation of Halammohydra Remane, 1927 (Hydrozoa): with the description of four new species

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Whereas most cnidarians are macrofaunal, a few microscopic lineages have evolved, and some of them inhabit marine sediments. The meiofaunal genus with the most species is Halammohydra, comprising nine nominal species. Species are described with high intraspecific variability in, e.g., the number of tentacles and statocysts and the shape and length of tentacles and body, complicating morphological identification to species level. Additionally, there is not much molecular data available. This study aims to revise already described species with morphological and molecular methods, as well as, to delineate potential new species answering questions about their geographical distribution. For this, specimens were sampled at 16 locations in the Northwest Atlantic and two localities in the East Atlantic, documented with light microscopy, and fixed individually for sequencing (16S, 18S, and CO1). Herewith, morphological characters were linked to a specific sequence, enabling the testing of character variation within one molecular phylogenetic group. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted (Bayesian Interference and Maximum Likelihood) in combination with species delimitation tests (ABGD, GMYC, and bPTP). Four already described species were identified in the data sets, and all of these were found at multiple localities. Four new species are described. Overall, the combined molecular and morphological data acquisition revealed multiple new species and a high degree of sympatry in Halammohydra. This, together with the confirmed excessive intraspecific variation in morphological traits, underlines the necessity of molecular sequencing for the taxonomy and species identification of Halammohydra.
TidsskriftOrganisms Diversity and Evolution
Sider (fra-til)455-476
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
We thank the multiple people and funding agencies supporting our field trip sampling: Alexandra Kerbl, during the Roscoff sampling (supported by AssemblePlus_20190215), participants of “Meiozores 2019” on the Azores (supported by the VW Foundation N° 96493 and), Jan Raeker and Alejandro Martínez in Tenerife (expedition supported by the DFG grant SCHM 1278/20-1), Maikon Di Domenico in Brazil (Permit Number: 34686-1 (ICMBIO/IBAMA—Brasil—Parque Nacional Marinho de Fernando de Noronha; supported by FAPESP 2012/08581-0), Maickel Armenteros, Erik García-Machado in Cuba (expedition supported by the Carlsberg Foundation grant 2013_01_0779). We thank Wolfgang Sterrer and Nicolas Bekkouche for providing us a specimen from Arcachon. We moreover thank Simon Bober and Oliver Hawlitschek for their support in the lab.

Funding Information:
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. This study was funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) with the grant number SCHM 1278/18–1 and conducted at the University of Hamburg and the Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB) in Hamburg (Museum of Nature—Zoology) as part of a PhD project. Additionally, the expedition to Roscoff was funded by AssemblePlus with the grant number AssemblePlus_20190215 at the Station Biologique de Roscoff.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

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