Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 303–325 | Cite as

Echinoderes hakaiensis sp. nov.: a new mud dragon (Kinorhyncha, Echinoderidae) from the northeastern Pacific Ocean with the redescription of Echinoderes pennaki Higgins, 1960

  • María Herranz
  • Evgeniya Yangel
  • Brian S. Leander
Original Paper


Surveys of kinorhynch diversity in the northeastern Pacific Ocean are rare, and only eight species have been described from the region so far. We explored the diversity of kinorhynchs from a pristine coastal habitat of British Columbia (Calvert Island) and discovered a new subtidal species, Echinoderes hakaiensis sp. nov. We also redescribed one of the oldest described echinoderid species, E. pennaki. Both species were characterized with high-resolution light microscopy (LM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene. Echinoderes hakaiensis sp. nov. can be differentiated from other species by a unique pattern of spines and tubes (i.e., four pairs of tubes on segment 2 combined with three middorsal spines). Echinoderes pennaki shows a configuration of traits on segment 2 that questions the reliability of conventional morphological characters used to distinguish different genera within the Echinoderidae. Reevaluation of these characters will require a resolved molecular phylogenetic context including a more comprehensive sampling of species within the group.


British Columbia Meiofauna Cyclorhagida COI Systematics 



The authors are grateful to Niels Van Steenkiste for his help during the sampling. Martin V. Sørensen is acknowledged for kindly providing graphic material of different Echinoderes species. We wish to thank the staff at the Bioimaging Facility at the University of British Columbia (UBC) for their help and the staff at Hakai Institute, especially Wayne Jacobs and the Coastal Sand Ecosystems Project members. This work was supported by a grant to BSL from the Tula Foundation (Centre for Microbial Diversity and Evolution), the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC 2014-05258), and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Program in Integrated Microbial Biodiversity.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Herranz
    • 1
  • Evgeniya Yangel
    • 1
  • Brian S. Leander
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Zoology and BotanyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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