Hidden in plain sight, Chaetopterus dewysee sp. nov. (Chaetopteridae, Annelida) – A new species from Southern California

  • Ekin Tilic Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093–0202
  • Greg W. Rouse Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093–0202
Keywords: micro-CT, cybertype, COI, parchment worm, polychaete


We describe a long-unnamed Chaetopterus Cuvier, 1830 species from southern California, using a combination of DNA barcoding and detailed morphological investigation employing high-resolution X-ray microtomography (micro-CT). Chaetopterus dewysee sp. nov. is not only one of the most dominant annelids in the benthic communities of the shallow end of the La Jolla submarine canyon, but also a well-established model for studying bioluminescence and has a published transcriptome. The description and naming of this southern Californian Chaetopterus is a step towards the much-needed revision of the group’s taxonomy and towards resolving the confusion over the ʻcosmopolitanʼ Chaetopterus variopedatus species complex. Micro-CT data showing details of both internal and external anatomy has been made freely available as the first annelid cybertype.


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How to Cite
Tilic, E., & Rouse, G. W. (2020). Hidden in plain sight, Chaetopterus dewysee sp. nov. (Chaetopteridae, Annelida) – A new species from Southern California. European Journal of Taxonomy, (643). https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2020.643