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Ostermair, Lukas; Brandt, Angelika; Haszprunar, Gerhard; Jörger, Katharina Maria and Bergmeier, Franziska Sophie (2018): First insights into the solenogaster diversity of the Sea of Okhotsk with the description of a new species of Kruppomenia (Simrothiellidae, Cavibelonia). In: Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography, Vol. 154: pp. 214-229

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Solenogastres form a small Glade of worm-shaped molluscs distributed world-wide with most of the approx. 300 species occurring in the deep sea. A recent diversity study from the abyssal plain in the Northwest Pacific has revealed a wealth of new abyssal solenogaster lineages highlighting the need for further alpha-taxonomic work. During the 'Sea of Okhotsk Biodiversity Studies' (SokhoBio) expedition, 93 specimens were collected at overall eight stations ranging from depths of 1696-3377 m. Preliminary investigations revealed twelve clearly distinguishable morphospecies, including one relatively common species present at six of eleven stations. All morphospecies are characterized externally via light microscopy and identified to the best possible taxonomic level via scleritome characters. Molecular barcodes (16S rRNA) are provided as a first step towards establishment of a barcoding library to enable fast and accurate re-identification of these taxonomically challenging molluscs in future studies. The most wide-spread and abundant cavibelonian Solenogastres Kruppomenia genslerae sp. nov. (Simrothiellidae) is exemplarily described in full microanatomical detail based on 3D-reconstructions from histological semithin section series and scanning electron microscopy. We discuss our results in comparison to the solenogaster diversity of the neighbouring abyssal plain of the Northwest Pacific, which is connected with the Kuril Basin via two straits. Our initial characterization of the diversity boosts the hitherto poorly known diversity of Solenogastres in the Far Eastern Seas, but also underlines the taxonomic impediment for proper taxonomic descriptions of the wealth of new discovered material.

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