Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


A new species of Digenea (Rhodomelaceae, Ceramiales) based upon a molecular assessment and morphological observations of plants historically known as D. simplex in Bermuda



Using mitochondrial COI-5P as a barcode marker, the red algal species previously identified as Digenea simplex in Bermuda is shown to be distinct from this species found in the Adriatic (type locality) and Mediterranean Seas, as well as other tropical locations worldwide. This finding led to a comparative study of the morphology of Bermuda specimens and D. simplex from the type locality, as well as other congeners. Our data show the Bermuda specimens to be morphologically, as well as genetically, distinct from D. simplex necessitating the description of D. arenahauriens sp. nov. for plants found in the islands and a single collection from the Caribbean Sea. It represents the first species partitioned from the “pantropical” D. simplex and we present genetic evidence of additional undescribed isolates in the species complex requiring further study.


Bermuda, COI-5P, Digenea arenahauriens sp. nov., D. simplex, rbcL, Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta, western Atlantic Ocean

Full Text:



Agardh, C.A. (1822) Species algarum […] Vol. 1 (2). Lundae [Lund]. pp. [1–6] + 169–398 pp.

Audouin, V. (1828) Explication sommaire des planches d’hydrophytes de l’Égypte et de la Syrie, publiées par Jules-César Savigny, membre de l’Institute: offerent un exposé des charactères naturels des genres, avec la distinction des espèces. In: Commission d’Égypte, Description de l’Égypte our recueile et des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l’expédition de l’armée française, vol. 23, Secondé édition. Panckoucke, Paris, pp. 79–87.

Børgesen, F. (1918) The marine algae of the Danish West Indies, Part 3: Rhodophyceae (4). Dansk Botanisk Arkiv 3: 241–304, figs 231–307.

Brummitt, R.K. & Powell, C.E. (1992) Authors of plant names. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, 732 pp.

Collins, F.S. & Hervey, A.B. (1917) The algae of Bermuda. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences 53: 1–195.

Collins, F.S., Holden, I. & Setchell, W.A. (1913) Phycotheca Boreali-Americana (Exsiccata), Algae of North America. Fascicle XXXIX. Algae of Bermuda. nos. 1901–1950. Malden, Massachusetts.

Díaz-Tapia, P., Maggs, C.A., West, J.A. and Verbruggen, H. (2017) Analysis of chloroplast genomes and a supermatrix inform reclassification of the Rhodomelaceae (Rhodophyta). Journal of Phycology 53: 920–937.

Falkenberg, P. (1901) Die Rhodomelaceen des Golfes von Neapel und der Angrezenden Meeres-Abschnitte. Berlin, 754 pp.

Frauenfeld, G. (1854) Aufzählung der Algen der dalmatischen Küste. Verhandlungen des Zoologisch-Botanischen Vereins in Wein 4 (Abh.): 317–350.

Griffith, M.K., Schneider, C.W., Wolf, D.I., Saunders, G.W. & Lane, C.E. (2017) Genetic barcoding resolves the historically known red alga Champia parvula from southern New England, USA, as C. farlowii sp. nov. (Champiaceae, Rhodymeniales). Phytotaxa 302 (1): 77–89.

Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. (2017) AlgaeBase. National University of Ireland, Galway. Available from: (accessed 6 July 2017)

Harvey, W.H. (1853) Nereis boreali-americana. Part II.—Rhodospermeae. Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge 5 (5): 1–258, pls. xiii–xxxvi.

Hemsley, W.B. (1884) Algae, i, ii. In: Report of the botany of the Bermudas and various other islands of the Atlantic and southern Oceans, 104–128 pp. Report of the Scientific Research of the Exploring Voyage of H.M.S. “Challenger,” 1873-1876. Botany 1 (2): 1–135, 13 pls.

Kearse, M., Moir, R., Wilson, A., Stones-Havas, S., Cheung, M., Sturrock, S., Buxton, S., Cooper, A., Markowitz, S., Duran, C., Thierer, T., Ashton, B., Mentjies, P. & Drummond, A. (2012) Geneious Basic: an integrated and extendable desktop software platform for the organization and analysis of sequence data. Bioinformatics 28 (12): 1647–1649.

Kemp, A.F. (1857) Notes on the Bermudas and their natural history, with special reference to their marine algae. Canadian Naturalist and Geologist 2: 145–156.

Kützing, F.T. (1843) Phycologia generalis [...] Brockhaus, Leipzig. [xxxii +] 458 pp., 80 pls.

Kützing, F.T. (1865) Tabulae phycologicae [...] Vol. 15. Nordhausen. [iii +] 36, pp., 100 pls.

Littler, D.S. & Littler, M.M. (2000) Caribbean reef plants. An identification guide to the reef plants of the Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida and Gulf of Mexico. OffShore Graphics, Inc., Washington, D.C., 542 pp.

Lüning, K. (1990) Seaweeds. Their environment, biogeography, and ecophysiology. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 527 pp.

Murray, G. (1888) Catalogue of the marine algae of the West Indian region. Journal of Botany, British and Foreign 26: 193–196, 237–243, 303–307, 331–338, 358–363, pl. 284.

Norris, J.N. (2014) Marine algae of the northern Gulf of California II. Rhodophyta. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 96: 1–555.

Norris, R.E. (1994) Some cumophytic Rhodomelaceae (Rhodophyta) occurring in Hawaiian surf. Phycologia 33: 434–443.

Rein, J.J. (1873) Über die vegetations- verhältnisse der Bermudas-Inseln. Bericht uber die Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft in Frankfurt am Main 1872–1873: 131–153.

Saunders, G.W., Lane, C.E., Schneider, C.W. & Kraft, G.T. (2006) Unraveling the Asteromenia peltata species complex with clarification of the genera Halichrysis and Drouetia (Rhodymeniaceae, Rhodophyta). Canadian Journal of Botany 84: 1581–1607.

Saunders, G.W. & McDevit, D.C. (2012) Methods for DNA barcoding photosynthetic protists emphasizing the macroalgae and diatoms. Methods in Molecular Biology 858: 207–222.

Saunders, G.W. & Moore, T.E. (2013) Refinements for the amplification and sequencing of red algal DNA barcode and RedToL phylogenetic markers: a summary of current primers, profiles and strategies. Algae 28: 31–43.

Schimper, W. (1835–1837) Unio itineraria. [Exsiccatae; material collected in 1834 under the auspices of the Society for the Promotion of Travel in Esslingen].

Schneider, C.W. (2003) An annotated checklist and bibliography of the marine macroalgae of the Bermuda islands. Nova Hedwigia 76: 275–361.

Schneider, C.W., Cianciola, E.N., Popolizio, T.R., Spagnuolo, D.S. & Lane, C.E. (2015) A molecular-assisted alpha taxonomic study of the genus Centroceras (Ceramiaceae, Rhodophyta) in Bermuda reveals two novel species. Algae 30: 15–33.

Schneider, C.W., Lane,C.E. & Saunders, G.W. (2010) Notes on the marine algae of the Bermudas. 11. More additions to the benthic flora and a phylogenetic assessment of Halymenia pseudofloresii (Halymeniales, Rhodophyta) from its type locality. Phycologia 49: 154–168.

Schneider, C.W., Popolizio, T.R., Spagnuolo, D.S. & Lane, C.E. (2016) Notes on the marine algae of the Bermudas. 15. Dichotomaria huismanii (Galaxauraceae, Rhodophyta), a new species in the D. marginata complex from the western Atlantic. Botanica Marina 59: 13–29.

Schultz, N.E., Lane, C.E., Le Gall, L. Gey, D., Bigney, A.R., de Reviers, B., Rousseau, F. & Schneider, C.W. (2015) A barcode analysis of the genus Lobophora (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae) in the western Atlantic Ocean with four novel species and the epitypification of L. variegata (J.V. Lamouroux) E.C. Oliveira. European Journal of Phycology 50: 481–500.

Silva, P.C. & Lipkin, Y. (2003) Marine algae published by Savigny in the zoological part of “Description de l’Égypte”. Cryptogamie, Algologie 24: 371–386.

Simons, R.H. (1970) Marine algae from southern Africa. 1. Six new species from the inter- and infra-tidal zones. Republic of South Africa, Department of Industries, Division of Sea Fisheries Investigational Report 88. pp. [iii] + 13.

Taylor, W.R. (1960) Marine algae of the eastern tropical and subtropical coasts of the Americas. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. 870 pp.

Vieira, C., Camacho, O., Wynne, M.J., Mattio, L., Anderson, R.J., Bolton, J.J., Sansón, M., D’hondt, S., Leliaert, F., Fredericq, S., Payri, C. & De Clerck, O. (2016) Shedding new light on old algae: matching names and sequences in the brown algal genus Lobophora (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae). Taxon 65: 689–707.

Wulfen, F.X. (1803) Cryptogama aquatica. Archiv für die Botanik 3: 1–64, pl. 1.

Wynne, M.J. (2017) A checklist of benthic marine algae of the tropical and subtropical western Atlantic: fourth revision. Nova Hedwigia, Beiheft 145: 1–202.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1179-3155 (print); ISSN 1179-3163 (online)

Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand