New paper in Journal of Morphology


Morphology of ctenostome bryozoans: 1. Arachnidium fibrosum

Schwaha T & De Blauwe H
Journal of Morphology. 2020;1–9., Published online 3 October 2020


The morphology of ctenostome bryozoans remains little investigated with only few species having been subject to more detailed studies. From all the seven main different superfamilies, only few representatives have been studied. The superfamily Arachnidioidea has particularly been neglected concerning detailed morphological and histological details. So far, not a single analysis specifically studied a representative of the family Arachnidiidae. Arachnidium‐like forms have, however, often been regarded as potential cheilostome ancestors, the most successful group of bryozoans to date. The lack of any morphological data on this family called for a detailed investigation of one of its representatives. Hence, we analysed the general morphology and histology of Arachnidium fibrosum. Most striking morphological features previously unrecognized are a cardiac constrictor, previously almost unknown in the family, a single pair of apertural muscles consisting of proximal parieto‐diaphragmatic and distal parieto‐vestibular muscles, six pairs of duplicature bands, a lophophoral anus and retractor muscles attaching to the foregut. Although comparative data are limited, there seem to be two distinct different clades of arachnidiid ctenostomes that are characterized by their aperture and details of gut morphology. Further analysis of additional arachnidioidean species are required to confirm this.