A new polychaete from the Norwegian Sea

Pseudoscalibregma parvum. Photo: Katrine Kongshavn/University Museum of Bergen.
Pseudoscalibregma parvum. Photo: Katrine Kongshavn/University Museum of Bergen.

Knowledge of the biological diversity in the Norwegian Sea is limited. As a result new knowledge on distribution and abundance of benthic species are revealed as more studies are done. We have described a new species of polychaete, Scalibregma hanseni, based on newly available material. In addition a redescription of Pseudoscalibregma parvum is provided, as well as new knowledge on distribution of known scalibregmatids in the Nordic Seas.

The polychaete family Scalibregmatidae has few representatives in Norwegian waters. It is a small family as such with approximately 150 described species. Five species have been reported form Norwegian waters. Scalibregma inflatum is the most common species known from coastal and shelf waters. Pseudoscalibregma parvum and Polyphysia crassa are also frequently reported.

In the present work we have had the possibility to study old and newly available specimens, especially from deeper waters. This work is a result of our projects to study polychaetes in the Norwegian Sea deeper than 600 meters. Specimens are mostly available from the cruise program sampling benthic organisms in the 1980ties, and from the ongoing MAREANO programme. Type specimens for the new species were selected from specimens collected by MAREANO.

Holotype of the new species Scalibregma hanseni. Photo: Katrine Kongshavn/University Museum of Bergen.
Holotype of the new species Scalibregma hanseni. Photo: Katrine Kongshavn/University Museum of Bergen.

Type specimens of Pseudoscalibregma parvum have been examined and a redescription of this species is presented. From the type specimens of Eumenia longisetosa Theel, 1879 we are not able to find differences between this P. parvum, hence E. longisetosa is a synonym to P. parvum. The new species, Scalibregma hanseni, is similar to the common Scalibregma flavum, but show characteristic differences clearly distinguishing the two species.

In this study we have been able to present more knowledge on the distribution of the known scalibregmatids in the Nordic Seas. Both S. hanseni and Pseudoscalibgregma parvum are widespread species in relatively deep waters in the Nordic Seas, in general deeper than 600 m depth. The well-known species Scalibregma flavum from coastal waters has its depth distribution to about 900 m depth.

The project has been supported by The Norwegian Deepwater Programme.

Reference to the Open Access paper:

Bakken T, Oug E, Kongsrud JA. 2014. Occurrence and distribution of Pseudoscalibregma and Scalibregma (Annelida, Scalibregmatidae) in the deep Nordic Seas, with the description of Scalibregma hanseni n. sp. Zootaxa 3753: 101-117. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3753.2.1 Open Access.

Link to taxa annotations on World Register of Marine Species.