Two new species of Solieriaceae (Rhodophyta, Gigartinales) from the euphotic and mesophotic zones off Bermuda, Meristotheca odontoloma and Tepoztequiella muriamans

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Taylor and Francis


Using mitochondrial COI-5P and plastid rbcL sequences, as well as morphological characteristics, two new species of Solieriaceae are added to the flora of Bermuda. Specimens collected over the past two decades representing those distributed in the early exsiccata, Phycotheca boreali-americana as Eucheuma gelidium (= Meristotheca gelidium) are shown to be a unique species of Meristotheca, M. odontoloma sp. nov. A recent collection from a depth of 60 m off the islands is shown to be the same as a single specimen found in Bermuda in 1953 at 55 m and identified at the time as Agardhiella ramosissima. These deepwater collections are described as the second species in the new genus Tepoztequiella, T. muriamans sp. nov. Based on shared morphological characteristics, other collections of M. gelidium and A. ramosissima from the western Atlantic may require molecular analysis to determine if they represent either of the two new species. Our molecular investigations also confirmed that there are two species of Meristotheca from Lord Howe Island, Australia, and Meristotheca halymenioides comb. nov., based upon Mychodea halymenioides, is removed from synonymy with M. papulosa.