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Gibson, R. (1986). A new monostiliferous hoplonemertean, Meionemertes polygonimos gen. et sp. nov., from the South Pacific (Nemertea). Zoologischer Anzeiger, 216(5-6): 279-288
A new monostiliferous hoplonemertean, Meionemertes polygonimos gen. et sp. nov., from the South Pacific (Nemertea)
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A new genus and species of monostiliferous hoplonemertean, Meionemertes polygonimos, gen. nov. sp. nov., is described and illustrated. The principal morphological characters of the nemertean, which is placed in the family Tetrastemmatidae, are cerebral sensory organs with a simple construction, an intestine with a short anterior caecum but no lateral diverticula, large numbers of gonads distributed irregularly around the body margins, and a well developed proboscis nerve supply. The specimen was obtained from 95 m depth approximately 140 miles east of Christchurch, New Zealand. Despite the apparent ease with which intertidal nemertean worms can be found in New Zealand waters (MORTON and MILLER 1968), very few species have yet been described from this zoogeographic region. The monostiliferous hoplonemerteans in particular are poorly represented. Two species, originally named Borlasia Nopae-Zelandiae Quoy and Gaimard, 1833, and Ommatoplea heterophthalma Schmarda, 1859, were included as members of the genus Amphiporus by BURGER (1904) but are so inadequately described that their systematic placing and validity remain uncertain. Two other supposed but undescribed species of Amphiporus are recorded as common by MORTON and MILLER (1968). The only well described monostiliferan known from the region is the prosorhochmid Acteonemertes bathamae Pantin, 1961, first recorded intertidally from Portobello (PANTIN 1961). This species, which is related to the New Zealand terrestrial nemertean genus Antiponemertes (MOORE and GIBSON 1981), is essentially a marine form but has been found above higher water mark and in fully terrestrial habitats (MOORE 1973, MOORE and GIBSON 1985). Amongst a large number of benthic nemerteans collected during the various cruises of the USNS Eltanin between 1962 and 1972, mainly from Antarctic and Subantarctic localities, is a single specimen of a monostiliferous hoplonemertean trawled from near New Zealand. The general morphology of the nemertean indicates that it belongs in the famliy Tetrastemmatidae, but it possesses a combination of anatomical characters which excludes it from any of the existing genera and species. The nemertean is accordingly named Meionemertes polygonimos gen. et sp. nov.