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Type: Article
Published: 2021-07-05
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Revision of the Laonice bahusiensis complex (Annelida: Spionidae) with a description of three new species

Akvaplan-niva AS, Fram Centre, 9296 Tromsø, Norway.
A.V. Zhirmunsky National Scientific Center of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 17 Palchevsky Street, Vladivostok 690041, Russia.
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, via Derna 1, 56126 Pisa, Italy.
Murmansk Marine Biological Institute, Kola Science Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences, 17 Vladimirskaya Street, Murmansk 183010, Russia.
Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet, Karl Johansgatan 1-3, 414 59 Göteborg, Sverige.
A.V. Zhirmunsky National Scientific Center of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 17 Palchevsky Street, Vladivostok 690041, Russia. (ii) Laboratory of ecology and evolutionary biology of aquatic organisms (LEEBAO), School of Natural Sciences, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok 690091, Russia.
P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 36 Nakhimovsky Prospekt, Moscow 117997, Russia.
University of Bologna, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Via Sant’Alberto 163, 48123 Ravenna, Italy.
Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, P.O. Box 28548, 2080, Nicosia, Cyprus. (ii) Marine and Environmental Research Lab Ltd, 4533, Limassol Cyprus. (iii) School of Biology, Department of Zoology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), P.O. Box 134, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB–CSIC), carrer d’accés a la Cala St. Francesc, 14, Blanes—Girona—17300, Catalunya (Spain).
Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal.
Centro Interuniversitario di Biologia Marina e Ecologia Applicata G. Bacci (CIBM), Viale N. Sauro, 4 57128 Livorno, Italy.
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, via Derna 1, 56126 Pisa, Italy.
Annelida Polychaete cryptic species morphology molecular analysis COI systematics North Europe Mediterranean Sea Laonice antipoda


The morphological reexamination of specimens previously identified as Laonice bahusiensis Söderström, 1920 from North European and Mediterranean collections, supported by the molecular analysis of freshly collected material, enabled the recognition of four different species in the region: the genuine L. bahusiensis, L. irinae n. sp. from North European waters, and L. grimaldii n. sp. and L. mediterranea n. sp. from the Mediterranean Sea. The morphology of these species is described and illustrated, and their distributions are clarified based on old and new materials. A key for their identification is also provided. The Bayesian analysis of the COI sequences (483 bp) showed that these four species form a clade, namely the L. bahusiensis species complex, morphologically characterized by the continuous dorsal crests on postbranchiate chaetigers in the adults. The genetic p-distances between the species of the complex ranged from 13.27% to 17.99%, while the intraspecific variability ranged from 0.6% to 1.57%. Together with the sister species Laonice cirrata (Sars, 1851), the L. bahusiensis complex formed the Laonice (Laonice) clade, which is morphologically characterized by the prostomium fused with the anterior peristomial margin. However, the monophyly of the L. bahusiensis complex, as well as that of the clade Laonice (Laonice), needs to be further supported through the analysis of a greater set of genes from a larger number of species.



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