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Vellaria zucchellii sp. nov. a new monothalamous foraminifer from Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica

  • ANNA SABBATINI (a1), JAN PAWLOWSKI (a2), ANDREW J. GOODAY (a3), STEFANO PIRAINO (a4), SAMUEL S. BOWSER (a5), CATERINA MORIGI (a1) and ALESSANDRA NEGRI (a1)...

Abstract

Vellaria zucchellii sp. nov. is described from coastal sediment samples from Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea, Antarctica, 74°40′28.1″S, 164°04′11.6″E, Tethys Bay, 25 m depth). This organic-walled monothalamous (single chambered) foraminifer is characterized by a wide, prominent aperture that facilitates attachment to larger particles (small sand grains or other foraminiferal shells). It shares this feature with the two other known species of Vellaria, both of which were described from an Indian estuary. Phylogenetic analysis of small subunit rRNA gene sequences suggest that V. zucchellii is related to the genus Psammophaga. However, the new species lacks the mineral grain inclusions that are characteristic of Psammophaga. The description of this new organic-walled monothalamous foraminiferal species further documents the high taxonomic diversity of these delicate and abundant protists in the polar benthic communities.

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