Integrative description of Macrobiotus canaricus sp. nov. with notes on M. recens (Eutardigrada: Macrobiotidae)

Daniel Stec, Łukasz Krzywański, Łukasz Michalczyk


In this paper we describe Macrobiotus canaricus sp. nov., a new tardigrade species of the Macrobiotus hufelandi group from the Canary Islands. Moreover, with the use of DNA sequencing, we confirm that Macrobiotus recens Cuénot, 1932 represents the hufelandi group, even though eggs laid by this species do not exhibit the typical hufelandi group morphology. Our study is based on both classical taxonomic methods that include morphological and morphometric analyses conducted with the use of light and scanning electron microscopy, and on the analysis of nucleotide sequences of four molecular markers (three nuclear: 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA, ITS-2, and one mitochondrial: COI). Our analyses revealed that M. canaricus sp. nov. is most similar to Macrobiotus almadai Fontoura et al., 2008 from the Archipelago of the Azores, from which it differs by the absence of granulation patches on the external and internal surfaces of legs I–III as well as by the absence of a cuticular pore in the centre of the external patch on legs I–III. Molecular sequences allowed us to pinpoint the phylogenetic positions of M. canaricus sp. nov. and M. recens within the M. hufelandi group.


Canary Islands; COI; Macrobiotus hufelandi group; phylogeny; tardigrades

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