A new species of the Spirobranchus kraussii-complex (Annelida, Serpulidae) from the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman

Samaneh Pazoki*, Hassan Rahimian*, Torsten H. Struck, Ahmad R. Katouzian, Elena K. Kupriyanova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A recent study (Simon et al. 2019) confirmed that Spirobranchus kraussii is neither a widely distributed tropical species of Indo-Pacific origin nor a Lessepsian migrant to the Mediterranean, but a large complex of species, some of which might be indeed invasive. Thus, a common intertidal gregarious serpulid, previously attributed to S. kraussii in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, is described herein as Spirobranchus sinuspersicus sp. nov., using a combination of morphological and molecular data. The new species differs from S. kraussii by smaller size, fewer abdominal chaetigers, arrangement of abdominal chaetae and shape of opercular endplate talon. Results of phylogenetic analyses of a dataset combining 18S nucleotide and Cyt-b amino-acid sequences of S. sinuspersicus sp. nov. and Spirobranchus spp. available from GenBank supported monophyly of S. kraussii complex (including S. cariniferus) nested within Spirobranchus and thus, provided molecular support for synonymy of Pomatoleios with Spirobranchus proposed based on morphological criteria. The new species forms a well-supported clade with (S. kraussii (sp. 2 Hawaii + sp. 3 Australia)) clade, which in turn forms a clade with Spirobranchus sp.1 from temperate Japan, while S. cariniferus from New Zealand forms a basal grade. Evidence of substitution saturation of Cyt-b nucleotide sequences suggests that using translated amino-acid sequences to exclude non-informative substitutions should provide a better phylogenetic resolution for the genus Spirobranchus. Further studies are required to determine the invasive status of S. sinuspersicus sp. nov. as well as taxonomic and invasive status of S. cf. kraussii populations from the Mediterranean Sea, Suez Bay, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Singapore, and Panama.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-430
Number of pages30
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2020


  • Amino-acid
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Molecular taxonomy
  • Nuclear DNA
  • S. sinuspersicus sp. nov


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