On the combined use of morphological and protein patterns in Enchytraeidae species level taxonomy (Oligochaeta): example Fridericia discifera Healy, 1975

Autor(en): Schmelz, RM
Stichwörter: Agriculture; ANNELIDA; Ecology; Enchytraeidae; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Fridericia; general protein; IDENTIFICATION; oligochaeta; Soil Science; taxonomy
Erscheinungsdatum: 1999
Volumen: 43
Ausgabe: 6
Startseite: 497
Seitenende: 506
The main problem in Enchytraeidae taxonomy is the recognition of morphological species boundaries. In many cases it is not yet established which percentage of the morphological variability is intra-specific and which part is really inter-specific, i.e. species-separating. By means of a case study, the redescription of the morphologically variable F. discifera Healy, 1975, it is shown how this problem was addressed in a taxonomic revision of the species-richest genus of the family, Fridericia, by combining the following methods: (I) Sampling of live material on a European scale, including the type localities; (2) light-microscopical comparisons of live and preserved specimens, including the types and comparisons of specimens from different geographical origins, search for new species-diagnostic characters; (3) analysis of protein patterns (PAGIF unspecific silver-staining of all water-soluble proteins) in specimens with taxonomically problematic differences. Protein patterns were constant intra-specifically over a wide geographical distance and proved the morphological variations to be intra-specific. Patterns of morphologically close, though separate, species, however, were entirely different. The resulting redescription of F: discifera is purely morphological and it includes the morphological variability of the species on a European scale. Protein patterns, though needed to corroborate morphological species delineations, are not necessary for recognizing the species.
ISSN: 00314056

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