The early origin and evolutionary radiation of graptolites (Hemichordata : Pterobranchia) is a story told almost entirely in the fossil record, but for four extant species of the genus Rhabdopleura Allman, 1869. Here we report the discovery of a fifth species, Rhabdopleura recondita, sp. nov., at a depth range of 2–70 m from the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, always associated with bryozoans in coralligenous habitats. This is the first pterobranch record in Italian waters, and the second in the Mediterranean Sea. The new species is characterised by: (1) tubaria with smooth creeping tubes adherent to the inside of empty bryozoan zooecia; (2) erect outer tubes with a graptolite, fusellar-like organisation; and (3) zooids that extend from a black stolon, which is free from the creeping tube. Each of the paired feeding arms has two rows of tentacles that do not extend to the arm tip. The distal ends of the arms, the collar and the cephalic shield are replete with black granules. Phylogenetic analyses of individual and concatenated gene sequences of mitochondrial 16S rDNA and nuclear 18S rDNA support the validity of R. recondita as a new species. Finally, we discuss the global biogeographic and habitat distributions of the extant Rhabdopleura representatives.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 32 • No. 1