New glass sponges (Porifera: Hexactinellida) from deep waters of the central Aleutian Islands, Alaska
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Hexactinellida from deep-water communities of the central Aleutian Islands, Alaska, are described. They were mostly collected by the remotely operated vehicle 'Jason II' from 494–2311 m depths during a 2004 RV 'Roger Revelle' expedition, but one shallow-water species collected with a shrimp trawl from 155 m in the same area is included. The excellent condition of the ROV-collected specimens enabled valuable redescription of some species previously known only from badly damaged specimens. New taxa include one new genus and eight new species in five families. Farreidae consist of two new species, Farrea aleutiana and F. aspondyla. Euretidae consists of only Pinulasma fistulosum n. gen., n. sp. Tretodictyidae include only Tretodictyum amchitkensis n. sp. Euplectellidae consists of only the widespread species Regadrella okinoseana Ijima, reported here over 3,700 km from its closest previously known occurrence. The most diverse family, Rossellidae, consists of Aulosaccus ijimai (Schulze), Aulosaccus schulzei Ijima, Bathydorus sp. (young stage not determinable to species), Caulophacus (Caulophacus) adakensis n. sp., Acanthascus koltuni n. sp., Staurocalyptus psilosus n. sp., Staurocalyptus tylotus n. sp. and Rhabdocalyptus mirabilis Schulze. We present argument for reinstatement of the abolished rossellid subfamily Acanthascinae and return of the subgenera
Staurocalyptus Ijima and Rhabdocalyptus Schulze to their previous generic status. These fauna provides important complexity to the hard substrate communities that likely serve as nursery areas for the young stages of commercially important fish and crab species, refuge from predation for both young and adult stages, and also as a focal source of prey for juvenile and adult stages of those same species.