Xenophyophores (Rhizaria, Foraminifera), including four new species and two new genera, from the western Clarion-Clipperton Zone (abyssal equatorial Pacific). Eur. J. Protistol. 2020 Jun;75():125715. S0932-4739(20)30045-6. 10.1016/j.ejop.2020.125715. 26-06-2020
The Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) occupies a vast swathe of the Pacific with extensive polymetallic nodule deposits. Eastern and central parts host diverse assemblages of xenophyophores (megafaunal agglutinated foraminifera). Here we describe xenophyophores obtained using a Remotely Operated Vehicle from the western CCZ. Eleven distinct forms include two known species, Stannophyllum zonarium Haeckel, 1888 and Aschemonella monile Gooday and Holzmann in Gooday et al., 2017b. Another four are described as new species based on morphological and genetic data. In Abyssalia foliformis gen. nov., sp. nov. and Abyssalia sphaerica sp. nov. the flattened or spherical test comprises a homogeneous framework of sponge spicules. Psammina tenuis sp. nov. has a delicate, thin, plate-like test. Moanammina semicircularis gen. nov., sp. nov. has a stalked, fan-shaped test and is genetically identical to 'Galatheammina sp. 6' of Gooday and co-workers from the eastern CCZ. Sequence data revealed a spherical 'mudball', which disintegrated and cannot be formally described, to be a novel xenophyophore. Finally, four morphospecies are represented by dead tests: Psammina spp., Reticulammina sp., and an unknown genus with a unique test structure. This collection enhances our knowledge of Pacific xenophyophore diversity and provides the first genetic confirmation of wide geographic ranges for abyssal species.
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