Bertolani R.1, Biserov V.2, Rebecchi L.1, Cesari M.1 2011. Taxonomy and biogeography of tardigrades using an integrated approach: new results on species of the Macrobiotus hufelandi group // Invertebrate Zoology. Vol.8. No.1: 23–36 [in English].

1 Department of Biology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 213/D, 41125 Modena, Italy; e-mail: roberto.bertolani@unimore.it

2 Deceased

KEY WORDS: tardigrades, Macrobiotus, DNA barcoding, cox1, biogeography, taxonomy.

ABSTRACT: This study considers in a new light a population already studied and tentatively attributed to Macrobiotus cf. terminalis (Bertolani, Rebecchi, 1993), by joining molecular approaches to the traditional, but indispensable, light microscopy, and to scanning electron microscopy. Differences in animal and, above all, egg shell morphology, and the peculiar cox1 sequence indicate that this population clearly pertains to a new species, M. vladimiri sp.n., which is here described. The results obtained can be considered as an example of how a modern taxonomical and biogeographical research can be carried out on this animal phylum and in general on the animals belonging to the so called meiofauna, where characters bound to morphology are often very few. This is the first tardigrade species to be described and barcoded contemporarily.

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