Marine Biodiversity Records

Research Article

Desmodasys abyssalis sp. nov.—first record of a deep-sea gastrotrich from hydrothermal vents

Alexander Kienekea1a2 c1 and Julia Zekelya3

a1 Institut für Biologie und Umweltwissenschaften, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany

a2 Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, DZMB, 26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany

a3 Department of Marine Biology, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria


A new marine gastrotrich species, Desmodasys abyssalis sp. nov. (Gastrotricha: Macrodasyida), is described from deep-sea hydrothermal vents of the East Pacific Rise based on light microscopy and scanning electron microscope observations. Desmodasys abyssalis was collected from artificial tubeworm aggregations exposed to the intermediate flow zone (medium productivity) and occurred in low abundance. Desmodasys abyssalis is the first record of a gastrotrich inhabiting a deep-sea hydrothermal vent habitat and is the first description of a deep-sea gastrotrich.

(Received June 26 2007)

(Accepted August 22 2007)

(Online publication August 23 2007)


  • marine Gastrotricha;
  • Macrodasyida;
  • new species description;
  • East Pacific Rise


c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Alexander Kieneke, Institut für Biologie and Umweltwissenschaften, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenberg, 26111 Oldenberg, Germany email: