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Tuatara: Volume 21, Issue 3, April 1975

Distribution of New Zealand Xenophyophoria

Distribution of New Zealand Xenophyophoria

All of the New Zealand specimens were trawled from bathyal depths between 600 m. and 1,300 m, where temperatures range from 4° C. to 8° C. They are some of the few xenophyophores that have been dredged from such depths; most being from abyseal depths. They are also some of the few that have been found close to established marine stations.

The three species of Reticulammina were found only around the northern part of North Island. The genus Reticulammina may be endemic to New Zealand, the only other species in the genus, R. cretacea (Haeckel, 1889), being of dubious taxonomic position. Syringammina tasmanensis has been found on the Challenger Plateau to the west of New Zealand and nowhere else. Reticulammina and S. tasmannesis may together constitute an endemic xenophyophoria fauna at bathyl depths around New Zealand. The other New Zealand species, S. fragilissima, was originally described from the North Atlantic but may also occur in the South Atlantic close to Antarctica.

Xenophyophores could occur at any depth around New Zealand and it is hoped that marine scientists will examine the debris in their trawls very carefully to see whether any of it might belong to this group.


I am deeply indebted to Dr. K. B. Lewis of the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute for his indispensible help with the manuscript and for his permission to use the photograph of Syringammina tasmanensis.

Literature Cited

Brady, H. B., 1893: Syringammina, a new type of arenaceous Rhizopoda. Proc. Soc. Lond. 35: 155-161.

Garner, D. M., and Ridgway, N. M., 1965: Hydrology of New Zealand offshore waters. Bull. N.Z. Dep. Scient. Ind. Res. 162. (Mem. N.Z. Oceanogr. Inst. 12: 1-62.)

Honigberg, B. M.; Balamuth, W.; Bovee, E. C.; Corliss, J. O.; Gojdics, M.; Hall, R. P.; Kudo, R. R.; Levine, N. D.; Loeblich, A. R.; Wieser, J.; Wenrich, D. H.; 1964: A revised classification of the phylum Protozoa. J. Protozool. 11: 7-20.

Lemche, H.; Hansen, B.; Madsen, F. J.; Tendal, O. S.; Wolff, T.: Photographic evidence of hadal animal life. (In preparation.)

Lewis, K. B., 1966: A giant foraminifer: A new species of Syringammina from the New Zealand region. (With an appendix by R. H. Hedley.) N.Z. J. Sci. 9: 114-123.

Schulze, F. E., 1907: Die Xenophyophoren, eine besondere Gruppe der Rhizopoden. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Deutschen Tiefsee — Expedition auf dem Dampfer ‘Valdivia’ 1898-1899, 11: 1-55.

Tendal, O. S., 1972: A Monograph on the Xenophyophoria. Galathea Rep. 12: 1-99.