Univ British Columbia, Dept Zool, 4200-6270 Univ Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada;Univ British Columbia, Dept Zool, 4200-6270 Univ Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada;Univ British Columbia, Dept Zool, 4200-6270 Univ Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada;
Van Steenkiste, Niels W. L.;Leander, Brian S.;Stephenson, India;
Rhabdocoel flatworms are abundant members of marine meiofaunal communities worldwide, contributing to a reservoir of biodiversity that thrives in sediments and on macroalgae. Yet, they are relatively understudied due to bias in meiofaunal collection techniques, time-intensive identification and a lack of taxonomic expertise. Here, sampling of intertidal habitats in British Columbia, Canada, was undertaken to enhance our understanding of rhabdocoel diversity in this region. Six species of neodalyellid rhabdocoel were discovered and characterized with DNA sequence and morphological data: Pogaina paranygulgus, Anoplodium hymanae, Baicalellia pusilla n. comb., B. solaris n. sp., B. daftpunka n. sp. and Tamanawas kalipis n. g., n. sp. The latter three species are new to science. A phylogenetic analysis of neodalyellid rhabdocoels, inferred from 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA gene sequences of 39 taxa, provided further insight into their interrelationships, trait evolution and systematics, including the recognition of a new genus, Tamanawas, and the suppression of Canetellia and Coronopharynx.
character evolution;flatworms;meiofauna;molecular phylogeny;Platyhelminthes;