Analysis of non-morphometric morphological characters used in the taxonomy of the genus Pseudechiniscus (Tardigrada: Echiniscidae)

Research output

Abstract

Pseudechiniscus, the second-largest genus of the family Echiniscidae (Tardigrada: Heterotardigrada: Echiniscoidea), is notoriously difficult for taxonomic studies. In this study, I performed a morphological analysis of a new species from Croatia, based on a light microscopic and scanning electron microscopic examination of 45 specimens from the same sample. Furthermore, I have summarized all available data on Pseudechiniscus species, including their original descriptions, and have analysed the following complexes of morphological characters: (1) arrangement and morphology of dorsal cuticular plates, (2) ventral sculpture, (3) morphology of cephalic, trunk and leg sensory organs and (4) claw morphology. The applicability of these characters in the taxonomy and their distribution in the genus are discussed. Some of the characters traditionally used for species delimitation were shown to be unsuitable and others in need of a thorough reinvestigation. The meaning of the old term ‘faceted’, commonly used but often misapplied, has been clarified, based on the initial definition. Several characters of the claw structure were suggested as potentially useful for species delimitation. The taxonomic status of several old forms and species was discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019

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Tardigrada
claws
taxonomy
sense organs
Croatia
legs
electrons
new species
sampling
electron
analysis

Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

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title = "Analysis of non-morphometric morphological characters used in the taxonomy of the genus Pseudechiniscus (Tardigrada: Echiniscidae)",
abstract = "Pseudechiniscus, the second-largest genus of the family Echiniscidae (Tardigrada: Heterotardigrada: Echiniscoidea), is notoriously difficult for taxonomic studies. In this study, I performed a morphological analysis of a new species from Croatia, based on a light microscopic and scanning electron microscopic examination of 45 specimens from the same sample. Furthermore, I have summarized all available data on Pseudechiniscus species, including their original descriptions, and have analysed the following complexes of morphological characters: (1) arrangement and morphology of dorsal cuticular plates, (2) ventral sculpture, (3) morphology of cephalic, trunk and leg sensory organs and (4) claw morphology. The applicability of these characters in the taxonomy and their distribution in the genus are discussed. Some of the characters traditionally used for species delimitation were shown to be unsuitable and others in need of a thorough reinvestigation. The meaning of the old term ‘faceted’, commonly used but often misapplied, has been clarified, based on the initial definition. Several characters of the claw structure were suggested as potentially useful for species delimitation. The taxonomic status of several old forms and species was discussed.",
keywords = "Echiniscoidea, Heterotardigrada, morphology, scanning electron microscopy, taxonomy",
author = "Tumanov, {Denis V.}",
year = "2019",
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issn = "0024-4082",
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N2 - Pseudechiniscus, the second-largest genus of the family Echiniscidae (Tardigrada: Heterotardigrada: Echiniscoidea), is notoriously difficult for taxonomic studies. In this study, I performed a morphological analysis of a new species from Croatia, based on a light microscopic and scanning electron microscopic examination of 45 specimens from the same sample. Furthermore, I have summarized all available data on Pseudechiniscus species, including their original descriptions, and have analysed the following complexes of morphological characters: (1) arrangement and morphology of dorsal cuticular plates, (2) ventral sculpture, (3) morphology of cephalic, trunk and leg sensory organs and (4) claw morphology. The applicability of these characters in the taxonomy and their distribution in the genus are discussed. Some of the characters traditionally used for species delimitation were shown to be unsuitable and others in need of a thorough reinvestigation. The meaning of the old term ‘faceted’, commonly used but often misapplied, has been clarified, based on the initial definition. Several characters of the claw structure were suggested as potentially useful for species delimitation. The taxonomic status of several old forms and species was discussed.

AB - Pseudechiniscus, the second-largest genus of the family Echiniscidae (Tardigrada: Heterotardigrada: Echiniscoidea), is notoriously difficult for taxonomic studies. In this study, I performed a morphological analysis of a new species from Croatia, based on a light microscopic and scanning electron microscopic examination of 45 specimens from the same sample. Furthermore, I have summarized all available data on Pseudechiniscus species, including their original descriptions, and have analysed the following complexes of morphological characters: (1) arrangement and morphology of dorsal cuticular plates, (2) ventral sculpture, (3) morphology of cephalic, trunk and leg sensory organs and (4) claw morphology. The applicability of these characters in the taxonomy and their distribution in the genus are discussed. Some of the characters traditionally used for species delimitation were shown to be unsuitable and others in need of a thorough reinvestigation. The meaning of the old term ‘faceted’, commonly used but often misapplied, has been clarified, based on the initial definition. Several characters of the claw structure were suggested as potentially useful for species delimitation. The taxonomic status of several old forms and species was discussed.

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KW - scanning electron microscopy

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