Phaenocora anomalocoela Graff, 1913, Graff, 1913

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: 331-332

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Phaenocora anomalocoela Graff, 1913


Phaenocora anomalocoela Graff, 1913  

( Fig. 2)

Anomalocoelus caecus Haswell 1905: 450   –462, plate 27, Fig. 25–34; Gilbert 1935: 284, 372.

Phaenocora anomalocoela Graff 1913: 135   , 147–148, Fig. 149; Beklemischev 1929: 534; Gilbert 1935: 284, 287, 330– 331, 346–347, 356 –357, 363, 366, 369, 371– 374, Fig. 3 M, tables 1, 2; Gilbert 1937: 67; Gilbert 1938 a: 213 –214; Marcus 1946: 72, 81–82, 166; Watson & Rohde 1994: 237 –246.

Phoenocora anomalocoela   (incorrect subsequent spelling) Cognetti de Martiis 1916: 197–220, 224 – 225, 234.

Known distribution: Near Bathurst (New South Wales, Australia): in mud at the bottom of dams at Glanmire Hall ( Haswell 1905; Graff 1913), Ebor (New South Wales, Australia): farm dam fed by a semi-permanent stream ( Watson & Rohde 1994).

Material examined: One sagitally-sectioned specimen made from a preserved specimen (QM no. G 211246), which is designated neotype; one whole mount (QM no. G 211245). Both from Ebor (New South Wales, Australia).

Diagnosis: Largest animals up to 5 mm long, without pigmented eyes, animals reddish with the anterior region brightly coloured. Zoochlorellae absent. With huge male copulatory organ of the duplex-type IB. Cirral spines largest at the distal part of the cirrus. Female genital system of the ANOMALOCOELA   - type.

Descriptive notes: The studied specimens are about 3.3 mm long (measured on whole mount and on serial sections). The body is rounded anteriorly and ends in two lobes posteriorly. Eye pigmentation is lacking.

Many coarse-grained basophilic single-celled glands ( Fig. 2 B: gl) open into the inferior genital atrium ( Fig.

2 B: iga), which is lined with a frayed, nucleated epithelium. The superior genital atrium ( Fig. 2 B: sga) lies dorsorostrally with respect to the inferior genital atrium. In this superior genital atrium structures are observed that probably are the inner lobes of the pear-shaped appendages ( Fig. 2 B: psl 1). Laterally, small basophilic glands open into these structures (not visible in the figures). These glands are probably attached to the outer lobes of the pearshaped appendages (see remark below).

The male copulatory organ ( Fig. 2 B, 2 C) is of the duplex-type IB. The cirrus is lined with a thick basement membrane without epithelium (i.e. a pseudocuticula: pc 1 in Fig. 2 B), which distally increases in thickness. The distal part of this cirrus is folded several times and bears small spines, which become larger and sturdier distally. As a result, the largest spines are located at the base and the smaller spines at the tip of the everted cirrus.

The female genital system ( Fig. 2 B) is connected to the gut by means of a simple valvular apparatus ( Fig. 2 B: va), which can be closed by a weak sphincter ( Fig. 2 B: sph). The apparatus is directly attached to an intestinal bursa ( Fig. 2 B: bi). No burso-intestinal duct is present. The wall of the bursa intestinalis is lined with a high, nucleated epithelium, the cell boundaries of which are not always visible. The intestinal bursa is filled with sperm. The oviduct ( Fig. 2 B: od) enters the female genital canal ( Fig. 2 B: fgc) just distally from the intestinal bursa. This oviduct is lined with a high, nucleated epithelium and has almost no visible lumen. The vitelloduct ( Fig. 2 B: vd) also enters the female genital canal at the base of the intestinal bursa. At the point of entrance, the vitelloduct is lined with a high, anucleated epithelium and is surrounded with two muscle layers: an outer longitudinal muscle layer and an inner circular muscle layer. Proximally, the epithelium and the muscle layers of the vitelloduct rapidly become thinner. More distally, a bursa enters the female genital canal ( Fig. 2 B: bu 1). This bursa is folded and can be closed off from the female genital canal by a sphincter. Both bursa and proximal part of the female genital canal are lined with a nucleated epithelium, which appears a bit frayed or worn out at several places. Distally from the bursa the nucleated epithelium of the female genital canal is not degraded. More distally this epithelium lacks nuclei and entirely disappears except for the thick basement membrane (pseudocuticula: pc 2 in Fig. 2 B). Here an additional longitudinal muscle layer is visible.

A second, oval bursa ( Fig. 2 B: bu 2) opens into the distal part of the female genital canal through a short stalk. This bursa is lined with a nucleated epithelium and is surrounded with outer longitudinal and inner circular muscles. It contains secretion, which is produced by several fine-grained eosinophilic shell glands ( Fig. 2 B: sg). These numerous glands are situated all around the bursa and have fine canals through which they discharge their secretion.

Remarks: The lobes of the pear-shaped appendages are situated laterally inside and outside the superior genital atrium. Therefore, sagittal sections are not ideal to observe these pear-shaped appendages. It cannot be made out at exactly which place the internal pear-shaped appendages pass into the external pear-shaped appendages (i.e. assuming external structures are present).

Watson & Rohde (1994) also mention deposition of material of this species at the SMNH (numbers 1819–1821). However, these specimens were not in the collections when we requested them. According to Dr. S. Boström, senior curator, it might be possible that these numbers were issued to be used in the publication of Watson & Rohde (1994), but that the material was not physically deposited. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that the entries were made in pencil in the old museum’s catalogue and seem to be provisional.


Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History














Phaenocora anomalocoela Graff, 1913

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

Phaenocora anomalocoela

Watson 1994: 237
Marcus 1946: 72
Gilbert 1938: 213
Gilbert 1937: 67
Gilbert 1935: 284
Beklemischev 1929: 534
Graff 1913: 135

Anomalocoelus caecus

Gilbert 1935: 284
Haswell 1905: 450