Elgetany A.H.1, El-Ghobashy A.E.1, Ghoneim A.M.1, Struck T.H.2 2018. Description of a new species of the genus Marphysa (Eunicidae), Marphysa aegypti sp.n., based on molecular and morphological evidence // Invertebrate Zoology. Vol.15. No.1: 71–84 [in English].

1 Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Damietta University, New Damietta, Egypt. E-mails: asmaa_haris222@yahoo.com  (A. Elgetany), ahmad10@du.edu.eg  (A. El-Ghobashy), am_ghoneim@du.edu.eg  (A. Ghoneim)

2 Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1172, Blindern, NO-0318 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: t.h.struck@nhm.uio.no

ABSTRACT: The annelid family Eunicidae comprises ten genera including the genus Marphysa Quatrefages, 1866. This genus is characterized by a global distribution and has considerable value in the bait industry worldwide. Therefore, the correct delimitation of species is important not only for consideration of its evolution, but also for culturing species from this genus. Marphysa sanguinea (Montagu, 1813) represents a complex of species and its global distribution is not clearly defined. Herein we describe a new species, Marphysa aegypti sp.n., belonging to the M. sanguinea group from the coastal waters of Egypt. This species, which has previously been reported as M. sanguinea, has a high commercial value as it is collected and vastly used by fishermen in Egypt. In our study, we used both molecular (COI barcoding region) and morphological species identification. Our results confirm that this polychaete, which is a common inhabitant of Egyptian coastal waters (i.e., Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and the Suez Canal), is a distinct species. Our findings further support the view that the polychaete fauna of Egypt needs taxonomic revision. Determination of the polychaete species of Egypt, similarly to other regions of the world, is based on identification keys developed for Northern European species and lacks thorough morphological comparisons. Therefore, all previous records of M. sanguinea in coastal waters of Egypt should be reconsidered as being indeed M. aegypti sp.n.

doi: 10.15298/invertzool.15.1.05

KEY WORDS: Egyptian Polychaetes, Eunicidae, bait worms, pectinate chaetae, molecular taxonomy.

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