A revision of the systematics of panther worms (Hofstenia spp., Acoela), with notes on color variation and genetic variation within the genus
2007 (English)In: Hydrobiologia, ISSN 0018-8158, E-ISSN 1573-5117, Vol. 592, 439-454 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Species of the genus Hofstenia are voracious predators and among the largest and most colorful of the Acoela. They are known from Japan, the Red Sea, the North Atlantic islands of Bermuda and the Bahamas, and the Caribbean and in a variety of habitats including the rocky intertidal, among Thalassia sea grass, on filamentous algae and decaying mangrove leaves. Certain color morphs associated with each of these habitats seem to have confused the taxonomy of the group. While brown-and-white banding and spotting patterns of Hofstenia miamia and Hofstenia giselae are distinctive for species associated with mangrove leaves and Thallasia sp. and are likely to be cryptic for these specific environments, we find some evidence to suggest that the coloration is mimicry of a nudibranch with aposematic coloration. The common plan in these patterns is one with three variously solid or spotted lighter cross bands on a dark background. Our examination of museum type material and live specimens of Hofstenia collected from Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, and Panama revealed no internal morphological differences between the Hofstenia species occurring in the Caribbean. Similarly, our analyses of 18S and 28S molecular sequence data revealed no significant differences among specimens. Accordingly, we declare that Hofstenia giselae is a junior synonym of Hofstenia miamia, the three- banded panther worm.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 592, 439-454 p.
Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria, mangrove, Caribbean, intraspecific variation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-143774DOI: 10.1007/s10750-007-0789-0ISI: 000249205000028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-143774DiVA: diva2:391409