Category Archives: AnDeepNor

Three new species of polychaetes described!

Fresh off the press:

Diversity of Orbiniella (Orbiniidae, Annelida) in the North Atlantic and the Arctic“,
published in ZooKeys. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1205.120300 (link goes to paper, it is Open Access)screenshot of the paper header

In this recent publication, PhD candidate Miguel and his co-authors present three new species of marine bristle worms (polychaeta) in the family Orbiniidae, all from the genus Orbiniella.
The work focused on studying the diversity of the group from the North Atlantic and the Arctic, and has used a combination of molecular and morphological analyses.

The new species have been named Orbiniella parapari, Orbiniella griegi,  and Orbiniella mayhemi. The choice of names (etymology) goes as follows:

  • O. parapari: This species is dedicated to the Spanish polychaetologist Dr. Julio Parapar, who described the first Orbiniella species in the North Atlantic waters, Orbiniella petersenae Parapar, Moreira & Helgason, 2015.
  • O. griegi: This species is named in honour of Edvard Grieg, the Norwegian musician born and raised in Bergen, the city where the present study was conducted.
  • O. mayhemi: The species is named in honour to the Norwegian Black Metal band from Oslo, Mayhem, one of the bands that most contributed to the development of the Norwegian Black Metal in the 90-s. MAM was listening to their music to endure the darkest hours in the lab.

This may the first time classical composer Edvard Grieg and infamous black metal band Mayhem are presented as closely related?

A scientific illustration with B&W SEM images of a small worm

Figure 7  from the paper, showing details of Orbiniella mayhemi Meca & Budaeva, sp. nov. Image credit: Miguel A. Meca et al. 2024, CC BY 4.0

Citation: Meca MA, Kongsrud JA, Kongshavn K, Alvestad T, Meißner K, Budaeva N (2024) Diversity of Orbiniella (Orbiniidae, Annelida) in the North Atlantic and the Arctic. ZooKeys 1205: 51–88. (link)

Door #14: Annelids from the deep Norwegian waters

We have recently started a new mapping project funded by the Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative (Artsdatabanken) on the deep-sea annelids. The annelid fauna in the deep areas of the Norwegian Sea, deeper than 2000 m, has recently been shown to be significantly different from the upper slope and shelf fauna. Morphology-based studies indicate that as much as 40% of the deep-sea annelid species are new to science, and initial results from DNA-barcoding provided even higher numbers. This project aims to characterize, describe and map these unknown species of annelids and will provide much needed baseline knowledge for monitoring of environmental effects from future deep-sea mining and other human activities.

Figures: Tom selecting 96 specimens of annelids from HAUSGARTEN for DNA barcoding.

We have started the project by processing a number of samples from a German expedition on RV Polarstern to the long-term research observatory HAUSGARTEN located at the Fram Strait. The samples have been collected between 1000 and 5000 m depth and harbor more than 30 putative morphospecies. We are going to barcode 96 individuals from this material to supplement the barcode library of the Norwegian annelids and to help resolve taxonomical problems within several taxa.