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Pycnoclavella stolonialis n. sp. (Tunicata: Ascidiacea), with phylogenetic and distributional remarks on the genus in Europe
Perez-Portela, R.; Goodwin, C.E.; Picton, B.E.; Turon, X. (2010). Pycnoclavella stolonialis n. sp. (Tunicata: Ascidiacea), with phylogenetic and distributional remarks on the genus in Europe. Zootaxa 2407(2407): 51-66
In: Zootaxa. Magnolia Press: Auckland. ISSN 1175-5326; e-ISSN 1175-5334, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Ascidiacea [WoRMS]; Pycnoclavella stolonialis Pérez-Portela R., Goodwin C.E., Picton B.E. & Turon X., 2010 [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    Colonial ascidians; larval morphology; COI; biogeography; biological cycles; “pin head” sea squirt

Authors  Top 
  • Perez-Portela, R.
  • Goodwin, C.E.
  • Picton, B.E., more
  • Turon, X.

Abstract
    Morphological and molecular data based on the COI gene were used to describe a new species of the colonial ascidian genus Pycnoclavella. The new species, P. stolonialis, is widespread sublittorally in the Irish Sea and also occurs on the western Irish coast, Wales and eastern England and may be locally common. It has been commonly known as the ‘pin head’ sea squirt since first recorded from Northern Ireland in 1984 but has not yet been formally described. P. stolonialis is the only described species of Pycnoclavella combining the presence of stolons, peribranchial incubation mode and a larva lacking an otolith. In addition, it features ca. 10% sequence divergence with the closest species of the genus in our phylogenetic trees. P. stolonialis showed intermediate characters between two groups of Pycnoclavella; the stanleyi and the aurilucens groups. Larval morphology and molecular data supported the inclusion of P. stolonialis within the aurilucens group, but the stolonial colony structure is characteristic of the stanleyi group. This implies that colony structure may not be a good character for separating these two groups. New information on distribution is given for P. atlantica, P. aurilucens and P. communis.

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