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Krapanj (III)

In the beginning we had no idea how to look closer into the species determination of those marine tardigrades at the shores of the Croatian island of Krapanj. You see, the genus Florarctus is a kind of modern genus, not present in our slightly dusty, older tardigrade literature. So one might suspect that most hints should be hidden somewhere in the more expensive modern publications. And yes, they are.

But, we do have the internet nowadays. And it helps a lot.

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Florarctus sp. tardigrade from the Sea around the Croatian island Krapanj. Just give it a try, check those links below and find out yourself what kind of species we might have encountered at Krapanj.

Starting off from a Google search we came across WoRMS. No, this isn't part of a fisherman's equipment box but the wonderful World Register of Marine Species (see source below). WoRMS is listing 14 species within the genus Florarctus:

(01) Florarctus acer Renaud-Mornant, 1989
(02) Florarctus antillensis Van der Land, 1968
(03) Florarctus asper Renaud-Mornant, 1989
(04) Florarctus cervinus Renaud-Mornant, 1987
(05) Florarctus cinctus Renaud-Mornant, 1976
(06) Florarctus glareolus Noda, 1987
(07) Florarctus heimi Delamare Deboutteville & Renaud-Mornant, 1965
(08) Florarctus hulingsi Renaud-Mornant, 1976
(09) Florarctus kwoni Chang & Rho, 1997
(10) Florarctus pulcher Grimaldi De Zio et al., 1999
(11) Florarctus salvati Delamare Deboutteville & Renaud-Mornant, 1965
(12) Florarctus stellatus Renaud-Mornant, 1989
(13) Florarctus vulcanius Renaud-Mornant, 1987
(14) Florarctus wunai Fujimoto, 2015

According to this the first species within the genus Florarctus appeared as late as 1965 with the first two members being Florarctus heimi and Florarctus salvati. When keeping in mind the tinyness and the poor contrast of those tardigrades we are not surprised that they were found as late as that. And from the philosophical point of view it appears quite thrilling how little was known about all those billions of Florarctus sp. individuals in the 1960s.

Thanks to WoRMS we do know the names of 14 marine Florarctus species which are known nowadays - for free.

And as a visual taxonomy helper we can recommend the Tardigrade image collection by Paul Bartels from the Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.

There you can click your way through Florarctus sp. portraits and compare them with our Krapanj tardigrade video. Furthermore it becomes obvious that those nice line drawings presented there are much superior to our own photographic and video documentation.

Well, don't wait any longer. Have a look at Prof. Paul Bartels' treasure box! Now.

Internet source referring to WoRMS

Guidetti, R. (2016): Florarctus Delamare Deboutteville & Renaud-Mornant, 1965. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=136636 on 2016-03-27

© Text, images and video clips by  Martin Mach  (webmaster@baertierchen.de).
The Water Bear web base is a licensed and revised version of the German language monthly magazine  Bärtierchen-Journal . Style and grammar amendments by native speakers are warmly welcomed.

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