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Acanthodasys caribbeanensis sp. n., a new species of Thaumastodermatidae (Gastrotricha, Macrodasyida) from Belize and Panama

By Rick Hochberg and Sarah Atherton


We describe one new species of Acanthodasys (Gastrotricha, Macrodasyida, Thaumastodermatidae) collected from sublittoral sites around Carrie Bow Cay, Belize and Isla Colón in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, Panama. Though eight species of Acanthodasys are currently recognized, no species has yet been reported from the Caribbean. Acanthodasys caribbeanensis sp. n. is characterized by the lack of lateral adhesive tubes, the presence of ventrolateral adhesive tubes, and with cuticular armature in the form of both spineless and spined scales. The spineless scales are not elliptical as in other species of Acanthodasys, but are instead variable in shape and closely resemble the spineless scales of species of Diplodasys. Spined scales bear uniancres up to 50 µm long and are the largest reported in the genus. Uniancres are arranged dorsally around the mouth rim and distributed in five distinguishable columns. Adult size varies from 325–625 µm long

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