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Brinckmannia hexactinellidophila, n. gen., n. sp.: a hydroid living in tissues of glass sponges of the reefs, fjords, and seamounts of Pacific Canada and Alaska

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This paper reports on an intimate association of a cnidarian with glass sponges. Hexactinellid sponges of the genus Heterochone were found to regularly contain numerous tiny hydroids in their tissue. The hydroid belongs to a new genus and species and is here named Brinckmannia hexactinellidophila. Brinckmannia hexactinellidophila is a reduced form, lacking tentacles and gonophores, which certainly is an adaptation to its endobiotic mode of life. The possession of desmonemes allows it to be classified as a member of the suborder Filifera of the order Anthoathecata. The shape of the hydranth reveals some clear affinities with the Proboscidactylidae, a relationship which is also strongly suggested by a comparison of 16S gene sequences. Because a closer relationship to some other families cannot be excluded at this stage, the new genus is nevertheless not assigned to any known family and classified as Filifera incertae sedis.

Notre travail traite d’une association intime entre un cnidaire et des éponges de verre. Les éponges hexactinelles du genre Heterochone contiennent régulièrement de nombreux hydroïdes minuscules dans leurs tissus. L’hydroïde appartient à un nouveau genre et une nouvelle espèce que nous nommons Brinckmannia hexactinellidophila. Brinckmannia hexactinellidophila est une forme réduite sans tentacules ni gonophores, ce qui est certainement une adaptation au mode de vie endobiotique. La présence de desmonèmes permet de le classifier comme membre de la sous-ordre Filifera de l'ordre Anthoathecata. La forme de l’hydranthe montre des affinités claires avec les Proboscidactylidae, une relation qui est aussi fortement suggérée par la comparaison des séquences du gène 16S. Parce qu’on ne peut à présent exclure des relations plus proches avec d’autres familles, le nouveau genre n’est inclus dans aucune famille connue et est donc classifié comme Filifera incertae sedis.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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