A new species of polychaete from the Nicobar Islands, North Indian Ocean

Pettibonella shompens, entire organism

Phylum: Annelida

Class: Polychaeta Grube, 1850

Subclass: Sedentaria Lamarck, 1818

Infraclass: Scolecida Rouse & Fauchald, 1997

Family: Orbiniidae Hartman, 1942

Pettibonella shompens Gopal et al., 2014

Collection: Andaman & Nicobar Islands – off Car Nicobar Island, 9°17.967′N, 92°42.016′E, 50 m (FORVSS 261), 9°16.985′N, 92°42.158′E, 49 m (FORVSS 292). Smith McIntyre Grab.

Voucher No.: CMLRE/IO/SS/POL/00465, CMLRE/IO/SS/POL/00466 (FORV Referral Centre, CMLRE, Kochi)

Description: The new species, Pettibonella shompens is clearly distinguished from the only other species of the genus, Pettibonella multiuncinata, by the size and shape of the swan-shaped abdominal uncini. Each abdominal neuropodium with a large dorsal, swan-shaped uncinus facing 3 slender, ventral uncini; 3–4 crenulate capillary neurochaetae also present. Large swan-shaped hooks with a main fan surmounted by 2–4 denticles, shaft highly inflated below rostrum which it extends beyond.

Biological association: None

Remarks: The species name is attributed to the Shompen tribe inhabiting the Nicobar Islands.

Distribution: Indian Ocean, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, insular margin of Car Nicobar Island (known only from type locality).

Distribution map:

Map of northern Indian Ocean showing area of collection of Pettibonella shompens

Identified by: Aiswarya Gopal

Publication: Aiswarya Gopal, Abdul Jaleel Koovapurath Useph, Saramma Aikkarakunnath Varghese & Sanjeevan Veloorkirakathil Narayana (2014) A new species of polychaete, Pettibonella shompens sp. nov. (Orbiniidae), from the Nicobar Islands, North Indian Ocean, Marine Biology Research, 10:10, 1033-1037.

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