Armenteros, M.; Ruiz-Abierno, A.; Vincx, M.; Decraemer, W. (2009). A morphometric analysis of the genus Terschellingia (Nematoda: Linhomoeidae) with redefinition of the genus and key to the species. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 89(6): 1257-1267.
The cosmopolitan and often ecologically dominant genus Terschellingia (Nematoda: Linhomoeidae), with 38 nominal
species, is taxonomically a problematic taxon. Its species show high morphological plasticity, possess few diagnostic characters and identification keys are lacking. A revision of the genus was carried out based on morphological and morphometric data from the literature and from observations of specimens collected in Cienfuegos Bay, Caribbean Sea, Cuba. The diagnosis of the genus Terschellingia is emended. Of the current 38 nominal species, 15 are considered as valid species based on morphological characters related to size and position of amphidial fovea, presence/position of cephalic and cervical setae, presence/size/shape of pharyngeal bulb, shape of spicular apparatus and shape of tail. Tabular and pictorial keys were provided based on these characters. Three sympatric species: T. communis, T. gourbaultae and T. longicaudata were redescribed based on recently
collected Cuban specimens. Each of them showed relatively large differences in body size in comparison with the respective type specimens, suggesting possible variation due to local environmental differences. The highest intraspecific variation pertains for the most widely spread cosmopolitan species T. longicaudata, suggesting that morphological plasticity enhanced adaptation to different environmental conditions. The notable taxonomic inflation within the genus (14 species inquirendae,
9 junior synonyms), probably also present in other highly specious genera of marine nematodes, can lead to an overestimation of the alpha-diversity.