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Open AccessArticle

The Cost for Biodiversity: Records of Ciliate–Nematode Epibiosis with the Description of Three New Suctorian Species

Institute for Biological Resources and Marine Biotechnologies (IRBIM), Italian National Research Council (CNR), Via Pola 4, 71010 Lesina, Italy
A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas of RAS, 299011 Sevastopol, Russia
IFREMER, Centre Brest, REM/EEP/LEP, ZI de la pointe du diable, CS10070, F-29280 Plouzané, France
LEMAR, Université Brest, CNRS, IRD, IFREMER, F-29280 Plouzane, France
Oceanography Section, Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, OGS I-34151 Trieste, Italy
Department of Biomolecular Sciences (DiSB), University of Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’, loc. Crocicchia, 61029 Urbino, Italy
Department of Science and Technology (DiST), Parthenope University Naples, Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare (CoNISMa), 00196 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 224;
Received: 4 May 2020 / Revised: 30 May 2020 / Accepted: 1 June 2020 / Published: 4 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meiofauna Biodiversity and Ecology)
Epibiosis is a common phenomenon in marine systems. In marine environments, ciliates are among the most common organisms adopting an epibiotic habitus and nematodes have been frequently reported as their basibionts. In the present study, we report several new records of peritrich and suctorian ciliates-nematode association worldwide: from a deep-sea pockmark field in the NW Madagascar margin (Indian Ocean), from a shallow vent area in the Gulf of Naples (Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian Sea), in a MPA area in the Gulf of Trieste (Mediterranean, Adriatic Sea), from a mangrove system in French Guiana (South America, Atlantic Ocean), and from the Maldivian Archipelago. In addition, three new species of Suctorea from the Secca delle Fumose shallow vent area (Gulf of Naples) were described: Loricophrya susannae n. sp., Thecacineta fumosae n. sp. and Acinetopsis lynni n. sp. In the light of these new records and data from the existing literature, we discuss the suctorian–nematode epibiosis relationship as a lever to biodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: epibiosis; ciliophora; suctorea; nematoda; meiofauna; biodiversity epibiosis; ciliophora; suctorea; nematoda; meiofauna; biodiversity
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Baldrighi, E.; Dovgal, I.; Zeppilli, D.; Abibulaeva, A.; Michelet, C.; Michaud, E.; Franzo, A.; Grassi, E.; Cesaroni, L.; Guidi, L.; Balsamo, M.; Sandulli, R.; Semprucci, F. The Cost for Biodiversity: Records of Ciliate–Nematode Epibiosis with the Description of Three New Suctorian Species. Diversity 2020, 12, 224.

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