The Indo-Pacific genus Halgerda Bergh, 1880a Verhandlungen Der Koniglich-Kaiserlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 30:155–200, is one of the most diverse and better-studied genera within the nudibranch family Discodorididae. Previous studies have been predominantly based on morphology; however, the addition of molecular data has led to new species descriptions as well as unresolved species complexes. Here, we broaden the available molecular data within Halgerda by utilizing two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes in coordination with morphology to describe 14 new Halgerda species. Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, and species delimitation analyses were used to clarify previously established relationships and evaluate the new species positions within Halgerda. Based on our results Halgerda elegans Bergh, 1905 is synonymized with Halgerda willeyi Eliot, 1904 and new descriptions for Halgerda mango sp. nov., Halgerda berberiani sp. nov., Halgerda biqiea sp. nov., Halgerda paulayi sp. nov., Halgerda labyrinthus sp. nov., Halgerda anosy sp. nov., Halgerda mesophotica sp. nov., Halgerda profunda sp. nov., Halgerda takipsilim sp. nov., Halgerda scripta sp. nov., Halgerda hervei sp. nov., Halgerda maaikeae sp. nov., Halgerda pattiae sp. nov., and Halgerda radamaensis sp. nov. are provided here. We also provide an updated morphological description for juvenile specimens of Halgerda dalanghita Fahey & Gosliner, 1999a; expand upon the two unresolved species complexes previously identified in Tibiriçá et al. (2018); and identify a new mesophotic clade in the Central Pacific.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-07-04
Acknowledgements: This work was also generously supported by a National Science Foundation grant, DEB 12576304 to T.M.G, Richard Mooi, Luis Rocha and Gary Williams to inventory the biodiversity of the Verde Island Passage and NSF 1856407 to Terrence Gosliner, which supported much of Samantha Donohoo’s research. Fieldwork was also supported by the California Academy of Sciences Hope for Reefs initiative.
All the specimens from the Philippines were collected under our Gratuitous Permits (FBP-0041–10, GP-0059–11, GP-0077–14, GP-0085–15, GP-0112–16, GP-0112–17, GP-0159–18) from the shallow waters of the municipalities of Mabini, Tingloy, Calatagan, Romblon, and Puerto Galera. The Papua New Guinea research operated under a permit delivered by the Papua New Guinea Department of Environment and Conservation. Material from Zanzibar was collected in collaboration with the Zanzibar Department of Fisheries Development under a permit authorized by the department. Field work in South Africa was by permits RES2020/06 and RES2021-63 from the South African Department of the Environment and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. Permits for research in Saudi Arabia were granted by King Abdullah University for Science and Technology.This work was facilitated by several individuals who helped collect specimens available for this study. We are especially grateful to A. Alejandrino, A. Anker, L. Becking, R.F. Bolland, P. Bouchet, V. Bonito, G. Calado, Y. Camacho, L. Cervera, R. Delonghery, A. Devilliers, J. Earle, N. Evans, S. Fahey, J. Goodheart, A. Hermosillo, J.F. Hervé, E. Jessup, R. Johnson, M.A. Malaquias, M.C. Malay, S. McKeon, S. van der Meij, F. Michonneau, M. Miller, B. Moore, J. Moore, P.L. Norby, N. Okamota, P. Paleracio, G. Paulayi, D. Pence, C. Pittman, M. Poddubetskaia, M. Pola, A. Principe, R. Pyle, J. Reis, L. Rocha, T. Schils, B. Sellick, B. Shepherd, V. Smith, J. Templado, A. Valdés, R. Whitton, L. Witzel, D. Uyeno, C. Zakroff, the Papua New Guinea Expedition, the South Madagascar Expedition, and the Verde Island Passage Team. This collaborative research involved the following partners in the Philippines: former Secretary of Agriculture Proceso J. Alcala; former Philippine Consul General Marciano Paynor and the Consular staff in San Francisco; former Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Attorney Asis G. Perez; BFAR colleagues, especially Attorney Analiza Vitug, Ludivina Labe; National Fisheries and Research Development Institute (NFRDI) colleagues, especially Director Drusila Bayate and November Romena; U.S. Embassy staff, especially Heath Bailey, Richard Bakewell and Maria Theresa N. Villa; staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs; University of the Philippines (UP) administrators and colleagues including UP President Alfredo Pascual, Vice President Giselle Concepción, Dr Annette Meñez; the staff of the National Museum of the Philippines, especially Dr Jeremy Barns, Anna Labrador and Marivene Manuel Santos. We also thank Jessie de los Reyes, Marites Pastorfide, Sol Solleza, Boy Venus, Joy Napeñas, Peri Paleracio, Alexis Principe, the staff of Atlantis Dive Resort Puerto Galera (especially Gordon Strahan, Andy Pope, Marco Inocencio, Stephen Lamont and P. J Aristorenas), the staff of Lago de Oro Beach Club and Protacio Guest House, May Pagsinohin, Susan Po-Rufino, Ipat Luna, Enrique Nuñez, Jen Edrial, Anne Hazel Javier, Jay-o Castillo, Arvel Malubag and Mary Lou Salcedo. Lastly, our sincere thanks are extended to our fellow Academy and Filipino teammates on the expeditions. All the specimens from the Philippines were collected under our Gratuitous Permits (FBP-0041-10, GP-0059-11, GP-0077-14, GP-0085-15, GP-0112-16, GP-0112-17, GP-0159-18) from the shallow waters of the municipalities of Mabini, Tingloy, Calatagan, Romblon and Puerto Galera. This is part of the joint Department of Agriculture-NFRDI-California Academy of Sciences Memorandum of Agreement for the ongoing implementation of the National Science Foundation-funded biodiversity expedition in the Verde Island Passage. The specimens were collected in accordance with the terms and conditions of the gratuitous permit and under the supervision of our partners from BFAR Fisheries Regulatory and Quarantine Division and NFRDI. Material for some species studied here were kindly supported by Dr Philippe Bouchet and supported by the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris. Specifically, The Madang expedition specimens were obtained during the ‘Our Planet Reviewed’ Papua Niugini expedition organized by Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN), Pro Natura International (PNI), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), Principal Investigators Philippe Bouchet, Claude Payri and Sarah Samadi. The organizers acknowledge funding from the Total Foundation, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Fondation EDF, Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Entrepose Contracting and in-kind support from the Divine Word University (DWU). The expedition operated under a permit delivered by the Papua New Guinea Department of Environment and Conservation. Material from Zanzibar was collected in collaboration with the Zanzibar Department of Fisheries Development under a permit authorized by the department. The kind assistance of Dr Mohammed S. Mohammed and his staff support is gratefully acknowledged. Material from Saudi Arabia was supported by funding from the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology and we are extremely grateful to Dr. Mike Berumen and the staff at KAUST. Field work in South Africa was supported privately by Brian Sellick. We acknowledge and thank the support of San Francisco State University for supporting this project, which is a part of Samantha Donohoo’s master’s thesis research. We would also like to thank our lab mates in the Gosliner Slug Lab and the staff in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and the Center for Comparative Genomics at the California Academy of Sciences for all their help. We also appreciate the feedback we received from two anonymous reviewers and the editors at Marine Biodiversity that improved this manuscript.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.