Letter | Published:

Habits of the Marine Tardigrade, Echiniscoides sigismundi

Nature volume 166, pages 153154 (22 July 1950) | Download Citation



IT would appear that, although tardigrades are often common, in many situations in fresh waters, they are comparatively rare, or at least have escaped frequent observation, in the sea. This is particularly true of British waters, for which only two records can, be traced. Both of them refer to the same species, Echiniscoides sigismundi (Schultze). The first record is that of Murray1 from the west coast of Ireland, and the second is that of Cole2 in 1934 from North Wales. In both instances the creature was found among seaweeds. Yet it is quite clear both from Marcus3 and Cuénot4 that E. sigismundi is widely distributed in the Mediterranean, North Sea and, Caribbean Sea, and even off the coasts of China. It is difficult to account for its apparent absence from most British coasts except on the supposition that it has not so far attracted attention.

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  1. 1.

    , Proc. Irish Acad., 31, No. 37, 2 (1911).

  2. 2.

    (private communication to G. E. Newell, 1950).

  3. 3.

    , “Das Tierreich”, ed. Bronn, Lief. 66 (Berlin, 1936).

  4. 4.

    , “Traité de Zoologie”, ed. P. Grassé, Tome 6, 39 (Paris, 1949).

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  1. Zoology Department, Queen Mary College, London, E.1. March 3.

    • J. GREEN


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