A new species of genus Hydra (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa: Hydridae), Hydra shenzhensis sp. nov. from Guangdong Province, China, is described and illustrated. Most polyps have five tentacles. Column length reaches 11 mm when relaxed. Buds do not acquire tentacles synchronously. Stenotele is broad and pyriform in shape, 1.2 times as long as its width. Holotrichous isorhiza is asymmetrical and slender (more than 2.7 times as long as its width), with transverse and slanting coils. Atrichous isorhiza is long, resembling a melon-seed in shape. Desmoneme is asymmetrically pyriform in shape. The new species, belonging to the vulgaris group, is dioecious; sexual reproduction was found to occur mostly during November and December under conditions of dense culture or food shortage. Two to thirteen testes, cone-like shape with papilla, formed beneath the tentacles. One to three ovaries, with an egg cup, milky white in color, formed on body column. Ninety percent of individuals developed only one ovum. On a mother polyp, a fertilized ovum developed an embryonic theca covering its surface. The embryotheca is brown, with a spine-like structure, covering a layer of transparent, membrane-like material. For phylogenetic analysis, the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (COI) of six hydra species collected from China was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced. Morphological characters in combination with molecular evidence support the hydra described here as a new species.
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Vol. 29 • No. 12