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Two new rare chitons of the genus Stenosemus

(Mollusca: Polyplacophora: Ischnochitonidae)
(Mollusca: Polyplacophora: Ischnochitonidae)


B.I. Sirenko, Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, 1 Universitetskaya Emb., St. Petersburg, 199034,
Russia E-mail: marine@zin.ru

Two new species of chitons, Stenosemus moskalevi sp. nov. from the Bering Sea (northwestern
Pacific Ocean) and S. merweae sp. nov. from the coastal waters of South Africa (southeastern
Atlantic Ocean) are described in this paper: S. moskalevi sp. nov. is distinguishable from other
congeneric species by its structures of tegmentum and dorsal spicules; S. merweae sp. nov. dif-
fers from many other species of the genus by having many-colored tegmentum and girdle and
the structure of dorsal spicules.
Stenosemus moskalevi sp. nov. (-
- ) S. merweae sp. nov.
(- ): S. moskalevi sp. nov.
; S. merweae sp.
Key words: chitons, taxonomy, Bering Sea, Pacific ocean, South Africa, Atlantic ocean, Is-
chnochitonidae, Stenosemus, new species
: , , , , ,
, Ischnochitonidae, Stenosemus,

INTRODUCTION They inhabit mainly depths greater than

200 m and up to 4572 m. Such a wide depth
The genus Stenosemus is the most widely-
distributed genus of the order Chitonida. It distribution in chitons is otherwise charac-
includes nineteen described species (ONeil, teristic of only the ancient genus Leptochi-
1987; Kaas & Van Belle, 1990; Kaas, 1991; ton. Perhaps this is evidence of the antiquity
Sirenko, 1994; Van Belle & DellAngelo, of the genus Stenosemus. However, fossil
1998; Carmona-Zalvide et al., 2001; Clark, representatives of this genus are known only
2002; Schwabe, 2008; Sirenko, 2008) and from the Miocene of Italy (DellAngelo et
eight additional known but undescribed al., 2015), though a poor fossil record could
species including two species under study be attributed to the deep-water habitation
(Saito, 2006; and authors data). The species of most species of the genus.
of this genus have a distribution from the The aim of this article is to describe two
Arctic to the Antarctic, including cold deep more species of the genus Stenosemus, each
waters of tropical region. Most species of the known from only a single specimen, but
genus Stenosemus inhabit cold or temperate which possess unique morphological fea-
waters with temperature of less than 14 C. tures.
2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes

Abbreviations: Distribution. All oceans in cold and tem-

perate waters, at temperatures usually not
IORAS A.N. Shirshov Institute of more than 14 C. Miocene-Recent.
Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Moscow, Russia
Stenosemus moskalevi sp. nov.
SAM South African Museum, Cape
(Figs 13)
Town, South Africa
ZISP Zoological Institute, Russian Stenosemus sp. Sirenko, 2013: 148
Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia
Holotype. Adult chiton (ZISP No 1921) is
the only specimen. Despite damage, soft body,
MATERIAL AND METHODS radula, girdle, valves III and IV and fragments
of other valves remained. The holotype was dis-
Both specimens in this study were col- articulated and consists of a mount of radula,
lected by the South African R/V SFRI-R.S. valves III and IV, fragments of other valves and
Africana in 1993 and Russian R/V Vitjaz part of girdle and vail with remains of soft body
in 1950 and were given to the author. They with part of girdle; northwestern Pacific, to west
were collected by bottom trawls. of Commanders Islands, 5537N, 16436.7E,
Specimens were prepared for scanning depth 2440 m, stones, pebbles, gravels (R/V Vit-
jaz, st. 626, Sigsby trawl, 28.09.1950).
electron microscopy (SEM). The speci-
Distribution. The species is known only
mens were boiled in 7% KOH for 1015
from the type locality, southwestern Ber-
minutes, then boiled twice in fresh water.
ing Sea, to west from Commanders Islands,
Then several valves (usually valves I, IV, V
depth 2440 m.
and VIII), half of radula and a portion of the
Diagnosis. Animal of small size, valves
girdle were chosen for a Scanning Electron
low elevated, rounded. Intermediate valves
Microscope FEI SEM Quanta 250. The
broadly rectangular, anterior margin slight-
rest of the radula and girdle were dried and
ly convex, posterior margin almost straight,
mounted in Canada balsam for examination
side margins rounded, lateral areas not
under a light microscope.
raised. Central area sculptured with about
The holotype of S. moskalevi sp. nov. is
40 distinct longitudinal ribs, lateral areas
deposited at ZISP (No 1921). The holotype
with rounded pustules. Dorsal spicules
of S. merweae sp. nov. is deposited at SAM.
large, curved, smooth. Major lateral tooth
with sharply pointed unicuspid head. Twen-
SYSTEMATICS ty-seven gills per side arranged from valve
Class POLYPLACOPHORA Gray, 1821 III to valve VII.
Description. Holotype 17 10 mm, val-
Subclass LORICATA Schumacher, 1817 ves low elevated (dorsal elevation 0.26)
Order CHITONIDA Thiele, 1909 rounded, not beaked, tegmentum and girdle
Family ISCHNOCHITONIDAE Intermediate valves broadly rectangular,
Dall, 1889 anterior margin slightly convex, posterior
Genus Stenosemus Middendorff, 1847 margin almost straight, side margins round-
ed, lateral areas not raised. Central area
Type species Chiton albus Linnaeus, 1767, sculptured with about 40 distinct, slightly
by subsequently designation by Winck- nodulous ribs, interstices wide in pleural
worth, 1926 portion but narrow near jugal area, lateral
Lophyrus G.O. Sars, 1878 (non Lophyrus Poli, area sculptured with rounded pustules of ir-
1791, nom. null.); Chondropleura Thiele, regular shape, arranged in a random manner.
1906; Lepidopleuroides Thiele, 1928; Lophy- Articulamentum white, apophyses wide
rochiton Jakovleva, 1952 and connected across the wide shallow si-

2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes, Zoosystematica Rossica 25(1): 312

Fig. 1. Stenosemus moskalevi sp. nov. (holotype). A half of valve IV, dorsal view; B valve III, dor-
sal view; C valve III, rostral view; D valve IV, sculpture of tegmentum in pleural area; E valve
IV, sculpture of tegmentum in lateral area.

Fig. 2. Stenosemus moskalevi sp. nov. (holotype). A dorsal spicules; B ventral scales.

2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes, Zoosystematica Rossica 25(1): 312

Fig. 3. Stenosemus moskalevi sp. nov. (holotype) A, B dorsal spicules near margin; C dorsal
spicules in middle girdle; D marginal spicules; E marginal scale; F ventral scales; G ventral
spicule near inner margin; H portion of radula; I, J heads of major lateral tooth of radula. Scale
bar: 100 m.

2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes, Zoosystematica Rossica 25(1): 312

Fig. 4. Stenosemus merweae sp. nov. (holotype). A whole animal , lateral view; B valve I, dorsal
view; C valve V, dorsal view; D valve VIII, dorsal view; E anterior portion of chiton, lateral
view; F valve V rostral view; G valve VIII, lateral view. Scale bars: 1.0 mm.

nus by a short jugal plate. Slit rays hardly topped, spicules with broadened base, 300
or not indicated. Eaves narrow with rare 150 m in middle part of perinotum and
small pores (30 m). Valves III and IV with smaller (100 m) near margin. Marginal
12 insertion plates. Number of slits in head spicules sharply pointed, longitudinally
and tail valves is unknown, because of it was striated, up to 160 m. Ventral side of gir-
impossible to count them on the preserved dle covered with radiating rows of elongate
fragments of terminal valves. rectangular scales 8090 m.
Girdle narrow (width of girdle one- Radula of holotype 6 mm long with 42
fourth the width of valve V) Most dorsal transverse rows of mature teeth. Central
spicules juxtaposed, bent, smooth, round- tooth pyriform, wide near base, distally ta-

2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes, Zoosystematica Rossica 25(1): 312

Fig. 5. Stenosemus merweae sp. nov. (holotype). A valve I ventral view; B valve VII, dorsal view;
C valve VII, dorsal view, sculpture of tegmentum in jugal area; D valve VI, ventral view; E
valve VII, dorsal view, sculpture of tegmentum in pleural and lateral areas; F valve VII, dorsal view,
sculpture of tegmentum in pleural area. Scale bars: 1.0 mm (AE), 100 m (F).

2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes, Zoosystematica Rossica 25(1): 312

pering to a small blade. Major lateral tooth cronal area of tail valve with radial grooves.
with sharply pointed unicuspid head. Dorsal spicules large, bent, longitudinally
Twenty seven gills per side arranged striated in the middle part and fine grained
from valve III to valve VII. on top. Major lateral tooth of radula with
Etymology. Named after my friend Lev sharply pointed unicuspid head. Twenty-
Moskalev (IORAS), well-known malacolo- seven gills per side arranged from valve IV
gist, investigator of deep-sea fauna and in- to valve VIII.
defatigable collector of marine animals. Description. Holotype 19 12 mm, oval,
Comparison. Stenosemus moskalevi sligh- valves carinated, rather highly elevated
tly similar to S. exaratus (G.O. Sars, 1878) (dorsal elevation 0.52), side slopes convex,
(Atlantic ocean and southeastern Pacific apices broken off by damage. Color of teg-
ocean) and S. chiversi (Ferreira, 1981) (off mentum brown with cream, blue and white
Hawaii and Drake Passage) and differs from blotchings, girdle banded in brown, cream
them by having 40 distinct longitudinal ribs and white colors.
on the central areas of intermediate valves Head valve semicircular, posterior mar-
(vs. about 14 irregular, longitudinal grooves gin with notch at the top, tegmentum sculp-
per side in S. exaratus and sculpture with- tured with about 45 radial sometimes bifur-
out any longitudinal ribs in S. chiversi), cating grooves, growth lines better indicat-
rounded pustules arranged in a random ed near outer margin. Intermediate valves
manner in the lateral areas of the intermedi- broadly rectangular, front margin convex,
ate valves (vs. 36 radiating grooves in S. posterior margin almost straight, side mar-
exaratus and rugose sculpture that acquires gins rounded, lateral areas slightly raised,
a vaguely concentric zig-zag disposition well differentiated, sculptured like head
in S. chiversi), and smooth dorsal spicules valve with 56 radial grooves, central area
(longitudinally striated spicules in both sculptured with about 50 irregular, longi-
species). tudinal grooves, some grooves intercalary.
Tail valve decidedly less wide than head
Stenosemus merveae sp. nov. valve, short, erose mucro antemedian, ante-
(Figs 47) mucronal slope convex, postmucronal slope
concave, antemucronal area sculptured like
Holotype. Adult specimen (SAM), a male central area and postmucronal area eroded
with large gonad; now disarticulated and consist
and sculptured like head area.
of mount of part of radula and part of girdle; vail
with valve III, part of radula and part of girdle;
Articulamentum with blue color, espe-
body with the other valves and part of radula cially in the central part of valves, apophyses
in alcohol; off South Africa, near Cape Town, more or less semi-oval, connected across the
3434S, 2304E, depth 109 m (st. NA 14813- shallow sinus by a short, finely pectinated
111-069-3464, bottom trawl, coll. SFRI-R.S. Af- jugal plate, weakly notched at the sides, slit
ricana, S.C.H.B.S., 01.05.1993). formula of insertion plates 13/1/12, slit rays
Distribution. This species is known only weakly indicated, teeth short, smooth to
from the type locality, near Cape Town, faintly rugose, eaves short, relatively solid.
South Africa, depth 109 m. Girdle rather narrow (width of girdle
Diagnosis. Animal of small size, oval, five times less than width of valve V), dor-
valves carinated, rather highly elevated. sally clothed with large, juxtaposed, bent,
Color of tegmentum brown with cream, round-topped, longitudinally striated in
blue and white blotches, girdle banded in the middle part and fine grained on top
brown, cream and white colors. Central spicules (18 130 m), near the outer
area sculptured with about 50 irregular, margin in dorsal side of girdle among large
longitudinal grooves, head valve, lateral spicules arranged smaller dorsal spicules
areas of intermediate valves and postmu- (60115 2325 m) and a long, hollow,

2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes, Zoosystematica Rossica 25(1): 312

Fig. 6. Stenosemus merweae sp. nov. (holotype). A dorsal spicules and one marginal spicule; B
ventral scales and one marginal spicule; C dorsal spicules; D radula. Scale bar: 100 m.

chitinous hairs (100 m), distally bear- is one row of short, flat, triangular scales
ing a smooth, straight spicule (4060 10 (60 22).
m), There is a marginal fringe of relatively Radula of the holotype 6.5 mm long with
stout, flattened, longitudinally grooved, 26 transverse rows of mature teeth, central
sharply pointed spicules (115 40 m). tooth pyriform, wide near the base, distally
Ventral side of girdle covered with radiat- tapering to a small blade, first lateral tooth
ing rows of thin, flat, rectangular scales 110 wing-shaped, with a small blade, major lat-
18 m in mid-girdle, shorter towards the eral tooth with unicuspid sharply pointed
inner margin, near the outer margin there head.

2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes, Zoosystematica Rossica 25(1): 312

Fig. 7. Stenosemus merweae sp. nov. (holotype). A dorsal spicules in middle girdle; B, C dorsal
spicules near outer margin; D Marginal spicule; E supra-marginal spicule stalked on a long,
threadlike stem; F, G ventral scales near outer margin; H ventral scales in middle girdle; I ven-
tral spicules near inner margin; J Central and first lateral teeth of radula; K head of major lateral
tooth of radula. Scale bar: 100 m.

Twenty-seven gills per side, arranged per side in S. vanbellei), unidentate head
from valve IV to valve VIII. of major lateral tooth of radula (vs. biden-
Etymology. This species is named in hon- tate tooth in S. vanbellei). S. merweae dif-
or of Michelle van der Merwe (SAM) who fers from S. beui in having dorsal spicules
helped to organize our field trip along the fine grained on top (vs. without granules on
coast of South Africa in 2000. top of dorsal spicules in S. beui), tegmentum
Intestine contents of the holotype con- of the head valve is sculptured with radial
tains detritus, foraminifers, small bivalves grooves (vs. tegmentum sculptured with
and sand. close-packed radial series of small depressed
Comparison. In some respects S. mer- rounded to oval granules in S. beui), the
weae resembles S. vanbellei (Kaas, 1985) head of the major lateral tooth of the radula
(Mediterranean Sea and off Mauritania) is unicuspid and without any protuberance
and S. beui (ONeill, 1987) (New Zealand). (vs. a unicuspid head with protuberance on
All these species are many-colored, whereas the inner side of the denticle in S. beui).
most species of the genus Stenosemus are
white or rare light brown. The new species
differs from S. vanbellei in having 50 lon-
gitudinal grooves on central area of inter- I would like to express my sincere gratitude
mediate valves (vs. 79 longitudinal sulci to Michelle van der Merwe (SAM) and Lev

2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes, Zoosystematica Rossica 25(1): 312

Moskalev (IORAS) for giving me an opportu- Kaas P., Van Belle R.A. 1990. New species and
nity to study the materials. I am grateful to Julia further records of known species of Polypla-
Sigwart (Queens University Belfast, Belfast, cophora from the tropical western Pacific.
Northern Ireland, UK) and Bruno DellAngelo Basteria. 54: 175186.
(University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy) for ONeill M.H.B. 1987. Lepidozona beui n. sp.
their important comments, Mihael Blikshteyn (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) from New Zea-
(Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.) for polishing my land. New Zealand Journal of Zoology. 14:
English, Alexey Miroljubov (ZISP) for his tech- 131134.
nical assistance with SEM procedures and Ga- Saito H. 2006. A Preliminary List of Chitons
lina A. Kuznetsova (ZISP) for her help with the (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) from the Sa-
preparation of figures. gami Bay. Memoirs of the National Science
Museum, Tokyo. 40: 203224.
Schwabe E. 2008. Discovery of the South Af-
rican polyplacophoran Stenosemus simpli-
Carmona-Zalvide P., Urgorri V. & Garcia F.J. cissimus (Thiele, 1906) (Mollusca, Polypla-
2001. Ischnochiton (Stenosemus) gallaecus cophora, Ischnochitonidae) in the Southern
spec. nov. (Mollusca, Polyplacophora) an Ocean. American Malacological Bulletin. 24:
Atlantic species from the Iberian Peninsula. 7177.
Iberus. 19(2): 17. Sirenko B.I. 1994. Chitons (Polyplacophora)
Clark R.N. 2002. Stenosemus sharpii (Pylsbry, of the continental slope of the Kurile Islands
1896) Rediscovery of a forgotten Chiton with a brief review of deep water species of
from the Aleutian Islands. NEMOURIA Oc- the Russian seas. The fauna of the continen-
casional Papers of the Delaware Museum of tal slope of the Kurile Islands. Explorations of
Natural History. 47: 17. the fauna of the seas. 46(54): 159174.
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Kaas P. 1991. Mollusca Polyplacophora: Deep- tion of a new species Ischnochiton dolii sp.
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Received 22 February 2016 / Accepted 19 April 2016
Scientific editor: P.V. Kijashko

2016 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scienes, Zoosystematica Rossica 25(1): 312