Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 315–324 | Cite as

On the genera Malmgrenia McIntosh, 1874 and Pettibonesia Nemésio, 2006 in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, with descriptions of two new species (Polychaeta: Polynoidae)

  • Ruth BarnichEmail author
  • Anna Dietrich
  • Tatjana Hager
  • Dieter Fiege
Original Paper


Eleven species of Malmgrenia McIntosh, 1874 are currently recorded from the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. In eight of them, all long notochaetae have stout, entire tips [Malmgrenia andreapolis McIntosh, 1874; M. arenicolae (Saint-Joseph, 1888); M. castanea McIntosh, 1876; M. lilianae (Pettibone, 1993); M. ljungmani (Malmgren, 1867); M. lunulata (Delle Chiaje, 1830), M. mcintoshi Tebble & Chambers, 1982 and M. polypapillata (Barnich & Fiege, 2001)]. They differ by their elytral, parapodial and neurochaetal characters. Three additional species [Malmgrenia darbouxi (Pettibone, 1993), M. marphysae (McIntosh, 1876) and M. louiseae Jourde, Sampaio, Barnich, Bonifácio, Labrune, Quintino & Sauriau, 2015] can be separated from this group by their long notochaetae tapering to a fine, entire tip. Meanwhile, we found two new species in the area, Malmgrenia bicki sp. nov. and Malmgrenia thomsonae sp. nov., both with some long notochaetae showing a fine, bidentate tip (i.e. with subdistal tooth), but differing mainly by the shape of their supra-acicular process and middle neurochaetae. The presence of bidentate notochaetae first led to confusion with Pettibonesia furcosetosa (Loshamn, 1981), originally described as Malmgrenia as well. But in this species, some of the long notochaetae terminate in a fine furcate (i.e. distally split) tip. The discovery of the two new Malmgrenia species led us to re-assess the generic characters of the genera Malmgrenia and Pettibonesia Nemésio, 2006. As a result, we consider the presence of small cephalic peaks as a character of generic importance for Pettibonesia, especially since cephalic peaks are not found in any of the Malmgrenia species described for the area. The bidentate condition of some notochaetae suggests that the two new species could be assigned to Pettibonesia, but the fact that both new species lack cephalic peaks led us to assign them to Malmgrenia.


Malmgrenia Pettibonesia Taxonomy New species Northeast Atlantic Mediterranean Sea Supra-acicular process Sub-acicular process Bidentate notochaetae 



Our sincere thanks go to Emma Sherlock (Natural History Museum London) for the loan of the Malmgrenia marphysae type material and to Lena Gustavsson (Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet Stockholm) for the loan of the Pettibonesia furcosetosa type material. Stéphane Hourdez (Station Biologique de Roscoff) kindly donated additional Pettibonesia furcosetosa specimens.

We thank our colleagues from the IfAÖ, Janina Fanigliulo for examining numerous specimens of M. bicki sp. nov., and Lisa Schüler and Regine Bönsch for their various help and support during this study. Special thanks also go to Paul McIlwaine (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, United Kingdom), the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (United Kingdom) and the Marine Protected Areas Programme for collecting the type material of M. thomsonae sp. nov. and allowing us to include it in this study. Mike Camplin (Natural Resources Wales) provided additional material of M. thomsonae from Fishgard Bay and Tremadoc Bay. Daisy Chamberlain and Gabin Droual (both Thomson Unicomarine Ltd.) helped in discussing the characters of M. thomsonae sp. nov.

And finally, we would like to thank the reviewers of this manuscript for their comments.

This study did not receive funding. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors. Approval of observational studies has been obtained.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thomson Ecology Ltd., Thomson Unicomarine Ltd.GuildfordUK
  2. 2.Sektion Marine Evertebraten IISenckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum FrankfurtFrankfurt/MainGermany
  3. 3.Institut für Angewandte Ökosystemforschung (IfAÖ)Neu BroderstorfGermany

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