Morphology of three species of Amphileptus (Protozoa, Ciliophora, Pleurostomatida) from the South China Sea, with note on phylogeny of A. dragescoi sp. n

J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2014 Nov-Dec;61(6):644-54. doi: 10.1111/jeu.12146. Epub 2014 Aug 21.


Two new and one problematic species of pleurostomatids, Amphileptus dragescoi sp. n., A. wilberti sp. n., and A. marinus from coastal areas of the South China Sea, are described based on observations of live and protargol-impregnated specimens. Amphileptus dragescoi is different from its congeners by the presence of an apical group of extrusomes and the possession of 12-15 right and five left somatic kineties, two macronuclear nodules, and a single terminally positioned contractile vacuole. Amphileptus wilberti is diagnosed by oval or pyriform body, 15-19 right and seven or eight left somatic kineties, extrusomes arranged only in anterior portion of oral slit, usually three ventrally located contractile vacuoles, and two macronuclear nodules. Amphileptus marinus (Kahl, 1931) Song et al., 2004 is redescribed and its diagnosis is improved. One isolate which was misidentified as A. marinus by Song et al. (2004) is believed to represent an unknown form, named here as Amphileptus songi sp. n. Phylogenetic analyses of the SSU rDNA sequences indicate that the genus Amphileptus is paraphyletic, but its monophyly is not rejected by statistical tree topology tests.

Keywords: Ciliary pattern; SSU rDNA; ciliate; new species; taxonomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • China
  • Ciliophora / classification
  • Ciliophora / cytology*
  • Ciliophora / ultrastructure
  • DNA, Protozoan / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Phylogeny
  • Seawater / parasitology
  • Wetlands


  • DNA, Protozoan
  • DNA, Ribosomal