Phaenocora variodentata Meixner, 1915, Meixner, 1915

Houben, Albrecht M., Steenkiste, Niels Van & Artois, Tom J., 2014, Revision of Phaenocora Ehrenberg, 1836 (Rhabditophora, Typhloplanidae, Phaenocorinae) with the description of two new species, Zootaxa 3889 (3), pp. 301-354: 344-345

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Phaenocora variodentata Meixner, 1915


Phaenocora variodentata Meixner, 1915  

( Figs 8 View FIGURE 8 A –D, 14 F 1, F 2)

Phaenocora variodentata Meixner 1915: 536   –541; Beklemischev 1929: 538; Gilbert 1935: 284 –286, 304, 327, 334, 343, 356, 359, 364, 369, tables 1, 2; Beauchamp 1936: 151.

Phaenocora sinensis Wang & Sun 2011: 159   –164, Figs 1–9 View FIGURE 1 .

Known distribution: Dürrenstein ( Austria) ( Meixner 1915); Baoan, Shenzhen, Guangdong ( China) (22 ° 38 ’N; 113 ° 54 ’E) ( Wang & Sun 2011).

Material examined: The holotype of P. sinensis   (a whole mount) ( SMNH Type- 8562; formerly SU-C, no. SZ 200903 View Materials - I- 1) and the paratypes of P. s i n e ns i s (one whole mount) ( SMNH Type- 8563; formerly SU-C, no. SZ 200903 View Materials - I- 2) and (serially-sectioned specimens) ( SMNH nos Type- 8564–8565; formerly SU-C, nos SZ 200903 View Materials - I- 3; SZ 200903 View Materials - I- 4]).

Diagnosis: Animals about 1.4–1.8 mm long. Body yellowish grey. Pigmentation absent or present at the anterior part with brown-yellow pigment and five red-brown spots (one elongated, medially situated, and on each side two round ones). Visible eyes absent. Zoochlorellae not mentioned in literature. Male copulatory organ of the duplex-type IIIB. Penis papilla with dorsally three thick, conical spines, but no base plate. At the distal side of the invaginated penis papilla there are long, thin spines of different sizes. Female genital system of the EVELINAE   - type.

Descriptive notes: The studied animals are about 1.7 mm long. The body has a bullet-like shape. Visible eyes and zoochlorellae are absent. The testes are somewhat lobular and extend from the caudal end of the pharynx to the caudal end of the body.

The male copulatory organ ( Figs 8 View FIGURE 8 B –D) is of the duplex-type IIIB. The penis papilla has three huge spines on the dorsal side ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 C 3), and at the base it possess long slender spines ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 D: sp 1) with those on the opposite side almost with the same appearance although a bit smaller and more curved ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 D: sp 2). Additionally, the copulatory organ is lined with several spines ranging from very small ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 D: sp 3) to the long slender ones at the base.

The female genital system ( Figs 8 View FIGURE 8 A, 8 B) is connected to the gut. A burso-intestinal duct ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 A: dbi) runs towards the intestinal bursa ( Figs 8 View FIGURE 8 A, 8 B: bi). This bursa receives the female genital canal ( Figs 8 View FIGURE 8 A, 8 B: fgc) more or less in its midway. The female genital canal is wider at its proximal part just before it is attached to the bursa. The oviduct ( Figs 8 View FIGURE 8 A, 8 B: od) opens between the female genital canal and the intestinal bursa.

Discussion: Wang & Sun (2011) briefly stated that their material most resembled P. kepneri   and P. s u bs a l i n a, without any further explanation. Wang & Sun (2011) further considered P. sinensis   as a separate species because the testes of P. subsalina   are merely a fourth of its body length and the vitellaria of P. kepneri   are arranged in a netlike manner, both observations in contrast to their newly proposed P. sinensis ( Wang & Sun 2011)   . As discussed above (see GENERAL MORPHOLOGY section) the only sound basis, at least at this moment, for species identification is the morphology of the reproductive system. The male system of P. sinensis   is of the duplex-type IIIB and the female system is of the EVELINAE   - type, a combination only found in four other species: P. clavigera   , P. highlandensis   , P. variodentata   and P. t y ph l op s. The specimens now labelled P. sinensis   differ clearly from P. highlandensis   because the opening of the oviduct is not displaced, and differ from P. clavigera   in that a glandular papilla is lacking. P. variodentata   and P. sinensis   differ from P. typhlops   in the detailed morphology of the cirral spines. Although the original description of P. sinensis   mentions that the cirrus dorsally bears four spines that are oriented as the wings of a butterfly ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 C 1), we found only three spines on the same material, one of which has a split base ( Figs 8 View FIGURE 8 C 1 –C 3: * indicates the two parts of the split spine, arrow indicates the same place on different pictures). This particular cirrus morphology is identical with the one of P. variodentata   . As such, the latter species only differs from P. sinensis   in the fact that it has five clear spots of dermal pigmentation, which are absent in P. sinensis   . Because pigmentation is known to show intraspecific variation (see our notes on P. unipunctata   ) we consider P. sinensis   a junior synonym of P. variodentata   , at least until molecular data become available.


Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History














Phaenocora variodentata Meixner, 1915

Houben, Albrecht M., Steenkiste, Niels Van & Artois, Tom J. 2014

Phaenocora sinensis

Wang 2011: 159

Phaenocora variodentata

Beauchamp 1936: 151
Gilbert 1935: 284
Beklemischev 1929: 538
Meixner 1915: 536