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Free Content New data about Helicosalpa younti Kashkina 1973 (Tunicata: Thaliacea), a very rare salpid species

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In the southeastern Pacific Ocean off Chilean coasts some salp solitary zooids were found showing the main features of Helicosalpa younti Kashkina 1973, excepting the arrangement of the light organs is like its close relative H. virgula. H. younti was created by van Soest (1974) based upon the descriptions from the literature of two solitary zooids, but very important diagnostic characters as the number of muscle fibers were unknown, and aggregate zooids were not described. In the Chilean coasts samples, many aggregate zooids were found which are also described making special mention of characteristics not known for H. younti (e.g., dorsal tubercle and muscle fiber number). The differences in muscle fiber number of both solitary and aggregate zooids, which surpass considerably any number known from H. virgule, added to details of the intermediate muscle arrangement in the solitary zooids, seem to justify the permanence of H. younti as a valid taxon. The arrangement of the light organs may be a variable feature within a salp species or perhaps, more likely, subject to post-preservation artifactual changes. Another feature traditionally employed in species differentiation, the morphology of the dorsal tubercle, is variable with the specimen size.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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