Cirolana westbyi, (Isopoda: Cirolanidae) a new species in the ‘Cirolana parva-group’ from the Turneffe Atoll, Belize

Lucas Jennings, Jamie Bojko, Randi Rotjan, Donald Behringer

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Cirolana westbyi n. sp., a novel species in the ‘Cirolana parva-group’
is described from the Turneffe Atoll, Belize using an integrated
molecular and morphological approach. The 18S ribosomal RNA
gene for C. westbyi n. sp. and also for Cirolana parva Hansen, 1890
are provided, in addition to new primers, developed for the
Cirolanidae 18S gene.
The key morphological character for separating C. westbyi n. sp.
from other Cirolana is the shape of the uropodal rami: the uropodal
endopod is convex on the lateral side while the mesial side is straight.
Comparison of the 18S gene shows that C. parva is 95.96% identical
to C. westbyi n. sp. across 68% coverage, but due to two unique
insertions (‘INS-1’ and ‘INS-2’) into the 18S gene of C westbyi n. sp.,
which may function as loop regions, they appear to be genetically
distinct and different species. This is also supported by phylogenetic
analysis, which also highlights some potential paraphyly between
the three families, Cirolanidae, Aegidae and Corallanidae.
Our morphological description of a new species of cirolanid
along with a phylogenetic support using 18S sequence data for
species within and around the Cirolanidae, provides greater context
for the ‘Cirolana parva-group’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2053-2069
JournalJournal of Natural History
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2021


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