, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 83-105
Date: 19 May 2011

Distribution and diversity of the Opheliidae (Annelida, Polychaeta) on the continental shelf and slope of Iceland, with a review of the genus Ophelina in northeast Atlantic waters and description of two new species

Abstract

The diversity, taxonomy and distribution of the Opheliidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) in Icelandic waters is reviewed based on material collected during the BIOICE project. Nine opheliid species are recorded from Iceland; of these, three were previously reported in the area (Ophelia limacina, Ophelina cylindricaudata and O. acuminata), four are new for Icelandic waters (Ammotrypanella cf. arctica, Ophelina abranchiata, O. helgolandica and Tachytrypane jeffreisii), and two are new to science. Ophelina basicirra sp. nov. is distinguished by having a narrow anal tube with one short proximal anal cirrus in ventral position. Ophelina bowitzi sp. nov. is characterized by the small size of its anterior branchiae, which become larger in the middle and posterior body regions, and by an upwardly bent anal tube that is wide at the base and narrowing distally. The genera Euzonus, Armandia and Polyophthalmus are not represented in the BIOICE samples. The distribution of each species off Iceland is presented; one species is restricted to shallow waters of northwestern fjords, three species are found south of the GIF Ridge, and five species are circumicelandic. Several body characters with taxonomic relevance in some species are reviewed based on SEM images. Furthermore, as a first step towards a future revision of the genus Ophelina Örsted 1843 in North Atlantic waters, the status of each species originally described or subsequently reported from the area is commented on, and a key to the currently valid species is presented. Ophelina longicephala Hartmann-Schröder, 1977, formerly a subspecies of O. delapidans (Kinberg, 1866), is raised to species status.