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A New Family of Arthrotardigrada (Tardigrada: Heterotardigrada) from the Atlantic Coast of Florida, U.S.A.

Reinhardt Møbjerg Kristensen and Robert P. Higgins
Transactions of the American Microscopical Society
Vol. 103, No. 3 (Jul., 1984), pp. 295-311
Published by: Wiley on behalf of American Microscopical Society
DOI: 10.2307/3226191
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3226191
Page Count: 17
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A New Family of Arthrotardigrada (Tardigrada: Heterotardigrada) from the Atlantic Coast of Florida, U.S.A.
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Abstract

A new interstitial arthrotardigrade, Renaudarctus psammocryptus n. gen., n. sp., is described from high-energy marine beaches of Fort Pierce and Boca Raton, Florida. It is found in sediment consisting of stratified layers of coarse quartz sand and shell hash. The tardigrade is distinguished particularly by its dorsal cuticular plates, toes, and claw structure. The Renaudarctidae is established as a new family in the order Arthrotardigrada. A recently described tardigrade, Neostygarctus acanthophorus from a marine cave in Italy, originally placed in the family Stygarctidae, is included in the Renaudarctidae based on toe and claw structure. The phylogenetic relationships of Renaudarctidae to other families in Heterotardigrada are discussed. Seven other species of tardigrades found with the new species included: Parastygarctus sterreri, Stygarctus gourbaultae, Halechiniscus remanei, Raiarctus colurus, Raiarctus sp., Tanarctus tauricus, and Batillipes bullacaudatus. Only B. bullacaudatus and H. remanei have been reported from the U.S.A. previously. The vertical and horizontal distribution of the tardigrades in the beaches appears to be related to granulometry more than to other physical or chemical factors, including depth in the beach.

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