Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 663–672 | Cite as

A new species of Rhynchospio (Annelida: Spionidae) in South Africa

  • Carol A. SimonEmail author
  • Lee-Gavin Williams
  • Tony Henninger
Original Paper


More than 60% of the spionid polychaetes recorded in South Africa to date have type localities from outside the region. One of these is Rhynchospio glutaea (Ehlers, 1897), originally described from Argentina, which was suggested to have arrived in Table Bay via shipping. Recently specimens conforming to the description of R. glutaea were collected on the south coast of South Africa from within the effluent outflow pipes from an on-shore abalone farm. The species, here named Rhynchospio mzansi n. sp., belongs to the Rhynchospio glutaea complex, and has tridentate hooded hooks that usually start on chaetiger 15–18 and up to four pairs of dorsal anal cirri. Four molecular markers confirm that the South African material is a previously undescribed species that is the most basal of the other species within the R. glutaea complex and genetically closest to R. glutaea and R. arenincola Hartmann, 1936, from the west coast of North America. This is the first species in this genus described for South Africa.


16S rRNA 18S rRNA 28S rRNA Histone 3 Rhynchospio glutaea complex Rhynchospio mzansi n. sp. 



The authors would like to thank Sandy van Niekerk for collecting the samples and processing them for scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the staff of the Central Analytical Facility (Scanning Electron Microscopy Unit) and Albe Bosman and Dylan Clark at the Iziko Museum, Cape Town for their help. Funding was provided by grants to C.A.S., from the National Research Foundation (Thuthuka: grant number 77747) and Stellenbosch University (fieldwork and SEM), and SeaKeys (molecular analysis). The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. All applicable international, national, and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors. Permits and approval of field or observational studies have been obtained by the authors (Permit number: RES2015-25 issued to C.A.S.).


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany and ZoologyStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Aquatic Ecology, EawagDübendorfSwitzerland

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