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Published: 2020-12-28

A new genus and species of spionid polychaete (Annelida, Spionidae) from a deep-water cold seep site in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea off Turkey

Aquatic Research & Consulting, 24 Hitty Tom Road, Duxbury, Massachusetts, 02332 USA
College of Sciences, Koç University, Rumelifeneri Yolu 34450, Sarıyer, Istanbul, Turkey


A new spionid polychaete was discovered in deep-sea sediments in the eastern Mediterranean Sea during an expedition by the Ocean Exploration Trust. Specimens were collected by the E/V Nautilus in August 2012 off Turkey, at a depth of 2216 m on the Anaximander Seamount at the Amsterdam mud volcano site. Cores were taken from sediments covered with microbial mats. The new species belongs to the Pygospiopsis-Atherospio Group, which has unusual neuropodial hooks, modified neurosetae in some anterior setigers, and branchiae in middle body segments that are broad, flattened, and fused to the dorsal lamellae. The new species is assigned to a new genus and species, Aciculaspio anaximanderi n. gen., n. sp., and is unusual in having a reduced setiger 1 lacking notosetae; well-developed pre- and postsetal lamellae that encompass the neurosetae and notosetae; notopodial lamellae free from the branchiae in anterior setigers that become fused and flattened in middle and posterior segments; unidentate hooded hooks in both noto- and neuropodia; neuropodial spines in setigers 4–10; and a pygidium with three anal cirri. Aciculaspio anaximanderi n. gen., n. sp. is the first species in the Atherospio-Pygospiopsis Group collected from a deep-water cold seep habitat.


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