Hidden diversity within the cosmopolitan species Pseudopolydora antennata (Claparède, 1869) (Spionidae: Annelida)

Carol A. Simon, Waka Sato-Okoshi, Hirokazu Abe

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Pseudopolydora antennata was originally described by Claparède (Mem Soc Phys Hist Nat Geneve 20:1–225, 1869) from Teredo burrows in wood from the Gulf of Naples, but has also been recorded in South Africa, the Persian Gulf, South Australia, Japan and the Caribbean. This suggests that the species either has a cosmopolitan distribution, is an alien or, in some locations, represents a complex of morphologically similar species. We demonstrate, with molecular analyses and morphological examinations, that this species is a complex of at least five pseudocryptic species. Two species in South Africa (Pseudopolydora eriyali n. sp. in both the cool and the warm temperate bioregions and Pseudopolydora uphondo n. sp. from the subtropical bioregion) and two in Japan (Pseudopolydora tsubaki n. sp. from central east Japan and Pseudopolydora ushioni n. sp. from southwestern Japan) are consistently confirmed by nuclear 18S and 28S and mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene analyses. Morphological examination demonstrates that these four newly described species and Pseudopolydora hutchingsae n. sp. from South Australia differ from each other and Pseudopolydora antennata from Europe and the Marshall Islands with respect to the ratio of length to number of chaetigers, number of branchiate chaetigers, shapes of prostomium and modified spines, and methyl green staining patterns on the anterior dorsum, caruncle, prostomium, peristomium, and ventral and lateral sides of the body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-42
Number of pages18
JournalMarine Biodiversity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 5


  • 18S, 28S, 16S rRNA analyses
  • Methyl green
  • Pseudocryptic species
  • Pseudopolydora eriyali n. sp
  • Pseudopolydora hutchingsae n. sp
  • Pseudopolydora tsubaki n. sp
  • Pseudopolydora uphondo n. sp
  • Pseudopolydora ushioni n. sp


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