Castro-Claros J.D., Cobo M.C., Lucena-Serrano C., Checa A., Salas C.


Due to their small size and specific habitat, many species are associated to cnidarian colonies, Solenogastres (Mollusca, Aplacophora) often go unnoticed during sampling. Additionally, their identification involves the study of mantle sclerites and the internal anatomy, which requires the use of a specific methodology, that sometimes leads to discarding them for research. Thus, there are around 300 known species but it is considered that their real diversity is underestimated. Remarkably, most of them are only known from their type locality and many were described from one or very few specimens. Besides, although most of the recent described species came from remote locations, new species are still found in well-known areas, where new records are expected to be common. Therefore, there are still many open questions about their actual distribution and interspecific variability. And even if the general anatomy of this group is relatively well-known, the advance in the deep study of some organs it is important for a better knowledge of this interesting group of molluscs.

Here we present the preliminary results of an integrative taxonomic study (histology, SEM and DNA barcoding) of several specimens of Solenogastres collected in bay of Málaga (Southern Spain) on colonies of the hydrozoan Sertularella sp. and tentatively identified as Pruvotia sopita (Pruvot, 1891). The specimens were previously identified based on their habitat and external appearance. The general study of the histological sections confirmed this identification and provides new data that improves the description of the species. New data on the mantle sclerites and cuticle is also addressed. For the first time barcodes of this species were obtained. This species has only been formally reported from its type locality (Banyuls-sur-Mer), so this constitutes a new record.