The Phylum Sipuncula in the Mediterranean Sea

Scientific Field(s):


1999 | 93 pages




The sipunculan diversity in the Mediterranean has been up to now scarce and inaccurate. This monograph is an effort to compile existing information on the Mediterranean species recorded so far, reviewing the nomenclature used. Full synonymy, description with emphasis on distinguishing features, distribution in the Mediterranean and worldwide and ecology are given for each species. A dichotomic key is included along with illustrations for each species pinpointing the distinctive characteristics in order to facilitate the student/researcher in identifying a species. The produced check list of Mediterranean Sipuncula is presented in taxonomic order according to the classification scheme of GIBBS and CUTLER (1987). This work showed that the phylum is represented in the Mediterranean by 33 species, belonging to five families and nine genera whereas only 22 species were reported to occur in the prexisting literature. Higher species diversity (29 species: 88%) is recorded in the Western basin, whereas in the eastern basin diversity is reduced to 21 species (64%). Worth noticing is the absence of endemic Sipuncula in the Mediterranean. The present work extends the known bathymétrie distribution of the species in 9 cases. This result shows the richness of the Sipuncula in the Mediterranean refering to the world scale: 33 species out of a total of 162 world species, that is 20% are presented in the Mediterranean. The majority of them (39%) has a wide

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