Polar Biology

, 33:59 | Cite as

Echiniscus corrugicaudatus (Heterotardigrada; Echiniscidae) a new species from Ellsworth Land, Antarctica

  • Sandra J. McInnes
Original Paper


Echiniscus corrugicaudatus sp. nov., (Heterotardigrada; Echiniscidae) was found in the limited vegetation from the inland nunataks of Ellsworth Land, West Antarctica. The tardigrade fauna of this a rarely explored region shows limited overlap with the fauna from the maritime or coastal continental Antarctic. This species is placed within the Echiniscusarctomys-group” based on the characteristic of, “a lack of body appendages other than cirrus A”. It has less well-defined edges to the dorsal plates than other species within the group and distinct ridges on the caudal plate. Males were found in the population indicating gonochoristic reproduction, and a large number of juveniles suggesting an over-wintering strategy of eggs or a biennial population over-wintering as adults/sub-adults and eggs.


Tardigrada Echiniscus arctomys-group Ronne sector Antarctic 



The author is grateful to Dr Pete Convey for collecting the samples, who in turn relied on the skilled and enthusiastic support of staff at the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station, the BAS Logistics Section and Air Unit staff, and field general assistant Tim Blakemore. Morag Hunter, Steve Hinde and Anke Wendt are also thanked for their efforts in providing extra collections from the survey area. I am grateful to Dr Katrin Linse (BAS) for comments and advice on the manuscript and Nigel Marley (University of Plymouth) and the team at the Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre, University of Plymouth for their assistance and the use of the SEM facilities, and appreciate Professor James Diggle’s (Queen’s College, Cambridge) assistance with the Latin name of the new species. The referees: Sandra Claxton, Nigel Marley and A.N. Other, are thanked for their helpful comments and suggestion for improving the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.British Antarctic SurveyNatural Environmental Research CouncilCambridgeUK

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