New paper in Zoologigal Letters


Deep-sea ctenostome bryozoans: revision of the family Pachyzoidae, with description of a new genus and three new species from Zealandia.

Schwaha T, Gordon DP. 2024
Zoological Lett 10, 4 (2024). .
Published online 6 Februar 2024


Pachyzoidae is a little-known family of deep-sea ctenostome Bryozoa that until now was monospecific for Pachyzoon atlanticum. Originally described from the Atlantic Ocean, the genus was also found off southeastern New Caledonia in deep waters of the geological continent of Zealandia. Pachyzoon atlanticum forms globular to flat round colonies, living on soft, muddy to sandy bottoms with a few rhizoidal cystid appendages extending from the basal, substrate-oriented side. In this study, we investigate additional pachyzoids, collected between 1965 and 2015 from over 40 sites around New Zealand, by means of detailed morphological and histological investigations. In total, several hundred colonies were encountered in the NIWA Invertebrate Collection, comprising two new species of the genus PachyzoonP. grischenkoi sp. nov. and P. pulvinaris sp. nov., and the new genus and species Jeanloupia zealandica gen. et sp. nov.. The genus Jeanloupia is characterized by small disc-shaped colonies with highly elongated peristomes and a quadrangular aperture, distinct from the round apertures of the genus Pachyzoon. Pachyzoid species differ in colony structure and shape, apertural papillae and polypide features such as tentacle number or digestive-tract details. Cystid appendages are non-kenozooidal, but may originate from laterally flanking kenozooids. Based on published images, alleged P. atlanticum from New Caledonia is re-interpreted as P. pulvinaris n. sp.. Morphological characters support alcyonidioidean relationships, as previously suggested. First observations on pachyzoid reproduction show macrolecithal oocytes and brooding of embryos, which seems to be the general pattern for this family. The occurrence of three new Zealandian species in a comparatively small geographical area far from the Atlantic indicates a high possibility of more species to discovered.