Morphology and sexual dimorphism of living mature adults of Amphiduros fuscescens (Marenzeller, 1875) (Annelida, Hesionidae, Amphidurine), first reported for the Iberian Peninsula

Martin, Daniel Romano, Chiara. Biodiversity Data Journal 9 : e66020 (2021)  DIGITAL CSIC

Background: To date, the genus Amphiduros (Annelida: Hesionidae: Amphidurine) is considered as monotypic. Its single species, Amphiduros fuscescens (Marenzeller, 1875), is well characterised by lacking proboscideal papillae and emerging acicular chaetae, as well as by having three antennae, eight pairs of tentacular cirri and inflated dorsal cirri with characteristic alternating length and colour (transparent, with median orange band and white tips) in live animals.

New information: Three specimens, one male and two females, were found below boulders at 5–7 m depth in Punta Santa Anna, Blanes and Cala Maset, Sant Feliu de Guixols (Catalan Sea, NW Mediterranean, Iberian Peninsula). Our finding allowed us to describe different, unreported morphological traits and lead us to support the existence of sexual dimorphism (in terms of colouring, cirri morphology and distribution of sexual products along the body). Despite A. fuscescens having been previously reported from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean (particularly in SE French coasts), the specimens from Blanes represent the first record of the species from the Iberian Peninsula. In addition, our molecular results strongly support that Amphiduros pacificus Hartman, 1961 from California (currently synonymised with A. fuscescens) requires to be re-described and reinstalled as a valid species. In turn, our morphological observations support suggesting all other non-Mediterranean reports of A. fuscescens, including the species still under synonymy (i.e. Amphidrornus izukai Hessle, 1925 and Amphidromus setosus Hessle, 1925) as likely being a cryptic species complex whose the taxonomic status requires further assessment.