A Reinvestigation of Neokeronopsis Populations, Including the Description of N. asiatica nov. spec. (Ciliophora, Hypotricha)
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We investigated the status of various Neokeronopsis populations, using protargol-impregnated type material, a new Chinese population, and literature data. This resulted not only in the recognition of a new species, Neokeronopsis asiatica, but also in upgrading Afrokeronopsis from subgenus to genus level. The genera Neokeronopsis and Afrokeronopsis differ mainly in the buccal depression (absent vs. present) and in the midventral cirri between proter and opisthe, which are either retained (Afrokeronopsis) or transformed into cirral anlagen (Neokeronopsis). Neokeronopsis asiatica nov. spec. differs from N. spectabilis (Kahl, 1932) by the following features: body size (~ 300 × 120 μm vs. 400 × 170 μm); posterior body end (acute with distinct indentation at site of caudal cirri vs. broadly rounded and without or indistinct indentation); posterior end of marginal rows (ending at different vs. same or similar level); dorsal kinety 1 (continuous vs. fragmented); and the size of the bases of the adoral membranelles (largest membranelles on average 18 μm vs. 29 μm wide). Improved diagnoses are provided for the family Neokeronopsidae and the genera contained therein, viz., Neokeronopsis, Afrokeronopsis, and Pattersoniella. Our study shows the importance of depositing type and voucher material in recognized repositories. Only this will allow future researchers to restudy the populations, for the sake of improved taxonomic and biogeographic knowledge.
30 - 07 - 2015
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