Abstract

One hundred seventy-four water bear specimens and 16 eggs (Phylum Tardigrada) were collected from mosses and lichens in South Carolina, representing eight genera and 12 species. Some species could only be identified to species group. Nine species or species groups were new records for South Carolina and two were new for the United States. Echiniscus danieli sp. nov. is described from moss and lichen collected from trees on the campus of the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, southeastern U.S.A. The species belongs to the Echiniscus bigranulatus group; its dorsal plate cuticle structure consists of true pores, pillars, and granulation. It differs from other species in the group in lacking basal spurs on any of its claws and in the weak development of dentate collars on the fourth legs (i.e., dentate collar absent, or present with few or no teeth). The bigranulatus group has been considered Neotropical and Antarctic in distribution. The presence of Echiniscus danieli sp. nov. in Nearctic North America therefore expands its confirmed geographical range.

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