New species of Ampharetidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) from the Arctic Loki Castle vent field
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Ampharetid polychaetes adapted to live in chemosynthetic environments are well known from the deep Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but to date no such species have been reported from the Arctic Ocean. Here, we describe two new species, Paramytha schanderi gen. et sp. nov. and Pavelius smileyi sp. nov., from the Arctic Loki’s Castle vent field on the Knipovich Ridge north–east of the island of Jan Mayen. The new species are both tube-builders, and are found in a sedimentary area at the NE flank of the vent field, characterized by low-temperature venting and barite chimneys. The new genus, Paramytha, is characterized by a prostomium without lobes or glandular ridges, smooth buccal tentacles, four pairs of cirriform branchiae arranged as 2+1+1 without median gap dorsally on segments II–IV, absence of chaetae (paleae) on segment II, and absence of modified segments. P. smileyi sp. nov. is placed in the previously monotypic genus Pavelius, primarily based on the presence of a rounded prostomium without lobes and four pairs of branchiae arranged in a single transverse row without median gap dorsally on segment III. Pavelius smileyi sp. nov. differs from the type species, Pavelius uschakovi, in the number of thoracic and abdominal chaetigers, and the absence of chaetae (paleae) on segment II. The phylogenetic position of the two new species from Loki’s Castle is further explored by use of molecular data. New sequences of mitochondrial (16S rDNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, COI) and nuclear (18S rDNA) markers have been produced for both species from Loki’s Castle, as well as for specimens identified as Paramytha sp. from Setùbal Canyon off Portugal, and for the following species: Pavelius uschakovi, Grassleia cf. hydrothermalis, Sosane wireni, Amphicteis ninonae and Samythella neglecta. Results from phylogenetic analysis, including 22 species and 12 genera of Ampharetidae, recovered Paramytha gen. nov. as monophyletic with maximum support, and a close relationship between the genera Pavelius and Grassleia which together form a well supported monophyletic clade.