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Colossendeis species (Pycnogonida: Colossendeidae) collected during the Italica XIX cruise to Victoria Land (Antarctica), with remarks on some taxonomic characters of the ovigers
Esperanza Cano and Pablo J. López-González

The pycnogonid fauna of the genus Colossendeis collected during the Italica XIX cruise to Victoria Land (Ross Sea, Antarctica) was studied. A total of 19 specimens of six species were collected: Colossendeis australis (6), C. wilsoni (3), C. scotti (2), C. robusta (3), C. lilliei (2) and C. megalonyx (3). In the present contribution the observed variability of all collected Colossendeis species is described and illustrated. The previously synonymised C. lilliei is considered a different species from C. robusta. The observations made in this study lead us to discuss a controversy about the total number of oviger segments in this genus. Despite the currently established 10-segmented status, a short basal element is here considered to be a possible 11th segment. A detailed SEM study of the last oviger segment is carried out in all collected species, showing some intraspecific and the interspecific variability in the structures examined (shape and number of rows of compound spines, morphology of terminal claw, etc.). Finally, we discuss the taxonomic value of these characters of the last strigilis segment for distinguishing the Colossendeis species, and their possible utility in establishing internal phylogenetic relationships in future contributions.

Keywords: Pycnogonida, Colossendeidae, Colossendeis, SEM characters, benthic fauna, Antarctica.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 71(4) : 661-681 Back PDF
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