Redefinition and Reassignment of the 18-cirri Genera Hemigastrostyla, Oxytricha, Urosomoida, and Actinotricha (Ciliophora, Hypotricha), and Description of One New Genus and Two New Species

Chen Shao,

Weibo Song,

Khaled A. S. Al-Rasheid,

Helmut Berger


The morphology, the infraciliature, and two stages of physiological reorganization of Hemigastrostyla elongata spec. nov.,isolated from the Yellow Sea near Qingdao (China), are described. The new species differs from the type H. stenocephala, inter alia, by the length of the dorsal bristles and the position of the pretransverse ventral cirri; from H. enigmatica by the number of caudal cirri; and from H. para-enigmatica spec. nov. – established for the H. enigmatica populations from the Yellow Sea – by the arrangement of the postoral ventral cirri and the cortical granulation. A key to the Hemigastrostyla species and some other 18-cirri hypotrichs is provided. Hemigastrostyla szaboi is fixed as type species of Heterooxytricha gen. nov. because the type population lacks the extra cirri which are characteristic for Hemigastrostyla. In addition, Oxytricha geleii is assigned to this new genus, whose species have, like many oxytrichids, 18 frontal-ventraltransverse cirri, but a Gonostomum dorsal kinety pattern. The old, large, and difficult genus Oxytricha is briefly reviewed, mainly on the basis of the dorsal kinety pattern. Very likely, only species with the Oxytricha pattern belong to this genus. Oxytricha marcili and O. pseudofurcata, which have the Urosomoida kinety pattern (i.e. kinety 3 fragmentation lacking), are transferred to Urosomoida which is, inter alia, defined by a more or less distinctly reduced number of ventral and transverse cirri. Some other Oxytricha species with this kinety pattern (O. islandica, O. lanceolata, O. pseudosimilis, O. setigera) are not transferred to Urosomoida, but preliminarily classified as incertae sedis in Oxytricha, because they have the full set of 18 cirri. The available molecular data on O. lanceolata indicate that this type of 18-cirri hypotrichs likely needs a genus of its own because O. lanceolata does not cluster with O. granulifera, type of this genus. The marine Actinotricha saltans, classified for a very long time in Oxytricha, seems to be a non-dorsomarginalian hypotrich according to molecular data, justifying the reactivation of the old genus Actinotricha. Oxytricha shii has a multiple dorsal kinety 3 fragmentation, three dorsomarginal rows, and the undulating membranes arranged in the Cyrtohymena pattern, strongly indicating that it is a member of the subgenus Cyrtohymena (Cyrtohymenides). This brief review is a further step to unravel the complicated systematics of the old, but still little-known genus Oxytricha. The following new combinations are made in this paper: Cyrtohymena (Cyrtohymenides) shii (Shi et al., 1997) comb. nov.; Heterooxytricha szaboi (Wilbert and Song, 2005) comb. nov.; Heterooxytricha geleii (Wilbert, 1986) comb. nov.; Urosomoida marcili (Paiva and Silva-Neto, 2004) comb. nov.; Urosomoida pseudofurcata (Berger, 1999) comb. nov.

Słowa kluczowe: China, Heterooxytricha gen. nov., review, Spirotricha, Stichotrichia, Yellow Sea

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