Five new species and two new genera of xenophyophores (Foraminifera: Rhizaria) from part of the abyssal equatorial Pacific licensed for polymetallic nodule exploration

  • publication
  • 04-08-2018

Andrew J Gooday, Maria Holzmann, Aurélie Goineau, Richard B Pearce, Ivan Voltski, Alexandra A-T Weber, Jan Pawlowski. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 183, Issue 4, August 2018, Pages 723–748,

Based on a combination of morphological and molecular data, we describe five new species and two new genera of xenophyophores from the Clarion–Clipperton Zone (abyssal eastern Pacific), an area with commercially valuable seafloor deposits of polymetallic nodules. Bizarria bryiformis gen. et sp. nov. displays unusual features, notably an organic-walled test, largely devoid of agglutinated particles, comprising interconnected branches growing upwards from the nodule substrate; the bases of the branches contain dark masses of waste material (stercomare) and pale strands of cytoplasm (granellare), the whitish, tuft-like extremities contain sediment particles. Tendalia reteformis gen. et sp. nov. forms a delicate network of agglutinated tubes. Shinkaiya contorta sp. nov. is characterized by a contorted, partly reticulated plate-like test while the simpler plate-like test of Galatheammina interstincta sp. nov. combines characters typical of Galatheammina and Psammina. In Semipsammina mattaeformis sp. nov., a thin, delicate test with one or more tubular extensions forms a flat canopy over the mat-like stercomare encrusting the nodule substrate. Tendalia reteformis and S. contorta are free-living; the other species are sessile on nodules. Together, they illustrate the considerable morphological diversity of xenophyophores in a region where they dominate the megafauna, and highlight some major taxonomic challenges posed by these giant monothalamous foraminifera.

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