Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 783–794 | Cite as

Sinelobus stromatoliticus sp. nov. (Peracarida: Tanaidacea) found within extant peritidal stromatolites

  • Gavin M. RishworthEmail author
  • Renzo Perissinotto
  • Magdalena Błażewicz
Original Paper


Living coastal stromatolites, layered structures formed by the microbially mediated precipitation of calcium carbonate, are scarce because of grazing and burrowing disruption by metazoans, amongst other reasons. This paper describes Sinelobus stromatoliticus sp. nov., a tanaidacean living within laminated stromatolites along the South African coastline. S. stromatoliticus is the sixth geographically isolated species now recognised within what was once considered to be a single globally cosmopolitan species, S. stanfordi Richardson, 1901. A revised, sex-specific dichotomous key to all the species currently recognised within this genus is provided. Sinelobus stromatoliticus is a prominent and abundant metazoan within the living stromatolite habitats, yet despite being a burrowing and grazing species, stromatolite layering is not hampered by its presence. Future work should determine the relationship between other populations (cf. S. stanfordi) in South Africa (previously identified as Tanais philetaerus Stebbing, 1904) and those of the stromatolite-dwelling S. stromatoliticus. However, given South Africa’s clear biogeographic zonation in other taxa, it is unlikely that this genus that features no pelagic larval stage would be morphologically similar across biogeographic regions.


Brood larvae Extant microbialite Microbial mat Sinelobus South Africa Tanaididae 



This research is funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa from a South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) grant given to RP (Unique Grant No. 84375). The funders played no role in study design, and the views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the funders. The Claude Leon Foundation is thanked for the postdoctoral fellowship given to GMR. MB was funded by the National Science Centre 2014/13/B/MZ8/04702. Specimen collection permits were obtained from the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa (RES2014/06 and RES2015/31). The authors would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments that helped to improve the manuscript.


This study was funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (grant number 84375) and the National Science Centre of Poland (grant number 2014/13/B/MZ8/04702).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

GMR received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Claude Leon Foundation. RP received research grants from the National Research Foundation of South Africa. MB received research grants from the National Science Centre of Poland.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.

Sampling and field studies

All necessary permits for sampling and observational field studies have been obtained by the authors from the competent authorities and are mentioned in the acknowledgements, if applicable.


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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.DST/NRF Research Chair: Shallow Water EcosystemsNelson Mandela UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Polar Biology and OceanobiologyUniversity of ŁódźŁódźPoland

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