The sipunculan fauna of Svalbard
AbstractThis study presents the species of Sipuncula collected in the Svalbard area (74–81 ° N and 10–35 ° E) in the summer seasons from 1996 until 2005 at depths ranging from 40 to 2553 m. The faunistic analysis of the material (1056 specimens from 251 stations) resulted in a total of six species and one subspecies, belonging to two families (Golfingiidae and Phascolionidae). One species, Golfingia vulgaris , has not been reported previously from Svalbard waters, and increases the total number of Sipuncula taxa known from Svalbard to nine. Three species dominated the collected material: G. vulgaris (53.5% of all specimens found), G. margaritacea (19.3%) and Nephasoma diaphanes diaphanes (15.5%). The study shows that compared with other northern regions, Svalbard hosts a relatively rich sipunculan fauna, which is most similar in species composition to the sipunculan fauna found in Asian Arctic waters. An easy-touse identification key to Svalbard Sipuncula species is given to aid field researchers in the identification of this often overlooked taxon.
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