New paper in Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research


A revision of the ctenostome bryozoan family Pherusellidae, with description of two new species

Decker SH, Gordon DP, Spencer Jones ME & Schwaha T , J Zool Syst Evol Res 2021 Published online 8 March 2021


Pherusellid ctenostomes are a little‐investigated clade of bryozoans comprising three described species that are usually distinguished by their different peristome sizes. In this study, the entire family of Pherusellidae is revised with description of two new species, Pherusella minima from the Mediterranean Sea and Pherusella liowae from Singapore. Serial semithin sections and 3‐D reconstruction are used for the first time on an entire family of bryozoans. Soft‐tissue morphology yields numerous characters such as details of the digestive tract, duplicature bands, and pore‐plate structure that are useful and necessary for species identification. Cystid characters alone are regarded as insufficient for proper species recognition. Numerous previous studies have reported Pherusella tubulosa from Asia, but probably have misidentified this species. Hence, it appears to be restricted to the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, we suggest Pherusella brevituba only occurs in the Pacific Ocean and is not an alien species to the Mediterranean Sea, as previously suggested. We conclude that previous records most likely belong to the new species P. minima, which itself is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea.