Original Paper

Polar Biology

, Volume 30, Issue 7, pp 945-950

First online:

Siliceous scales of filose-amoebae (Pompholyxophryidae, Rotosphaerida) from deep Southern Ocean sediments, including first records for the Southern Hemisphere

  • G. F. EstebanAffiliated withCentre for Ecology and Hydrology, Winfrith Technology CentreSchool of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London Email author 
  • , A. J. GoodayAffiliated withNational Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • , K. J. ClarkeAffiliated withFreshwater Biological Association

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The world of protists remains largely unexplored. A thorough electron-microscopic investigation of a few microlitres of deep-sea sediment from 2,964 m water depth near the South Sandwich Islands (Southern Ocean) revealed siliceous scales of filose-amoeba protist species, two of which have not been reported previously from Antarctica or from elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. However, all the species are known from other oceans and, in one case, from freshwater habitats. The Antarctic protistan scales belong to four species of filose amoebae: Pinaciophora fluviatilis Greef 1869, Pinaciophora denticulata Thomsen 1978, Pinaciophora multicosta Thomsen 1978 and Rabdiaster reticulata (Thomsen 1979) Mikrjukov 1999 nov. comb. Our study shows that (1) none of the species has been recorded from the Australasian biogeograpical region, (2) Pinaciophora multicosta and Rabdiaster reticulata are new records for the Southern Ocean and for the Southern Hemisphere as a whole, (3) prior to this investigation, Pinaciophora multicosta had been reported once only, from the Baltic Sea (Europe). These results highlight the problem of undersampling in the study of the global distribution of protists.


Antarctica Biogeography Heliozoa Scale-bearing protists South Sandwich Islands Southern Hemisphere