SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

A new genus of monostiliferous hoplonemerteans, Pantinonemertes gen. nov., provides evidence for the separate evolution of terrestrial nemerteans. The genus is established for two new species found in Australia, P. enalios sp. nov., an intertidal form, and P. winsori sp. nov., which lives in fallen timber in the supralittoral brackish water regions of mangrove swamps. One only of the known species of land nemerteans, Geonemertes agricola from Bermuda, closely resembles these two species morphologically and is transferred to the new genus as Pantinonemertes agricola.

A re-examination of all the known species of Geonemertes has shown that two major groups can be distinguished on the basis of morphological characters. In one group the rhynchocoel musculature is in two distinct layers, a frontal organ is present, the mid-dorsal blood vessel has a single vascular plug, and the flame cells are binucleate and reinforced with cuticular support bars. It comprises the genus Pantinonemertes gen, nov, and the Pelaensis or Indopacific group of terrestrial nemerteans, for which the generic name Geonemertes is retained. In the second major group the rhynchocoel musculature is composed of interwoven longitudinal and circular fibres, there is no frontal organ, the mid-dorsal blood vessel bears two vascular plugs, and the flame cells are mononucleate and lack support bars. Five genera, three of which are new, are distinguished in this group. Australian species are united in the genus Argonemertes gen. nov., and New Zealand forms comprise the genus Antiponemertes gen. nov., while Acteonemertes bathamae from New Zealand and the Auckland and Ocean Islands remains in a separate genus. Geonemertes nightingaleensis is transferred to a new genus, Katechonemertes gen. nov., and for Geonemertes chalicophora a previously used generic name, Leptonemertes, is adopted.

A key to the terrestrial, brackish-water and marine nemertean species described in the present paper is provided.