A Case Study with Description of Milnesium pseudotardigradum sp. nov. (Tardigrada)

In this contribution, we present a case study concerning genus Milnesium, where multiple claw configurations (CC) were found in a single lichen sample from Iceland, indicating the presence of more than one species and/or multiple phenotypes representing different ontogenetic stages. To elucidate this puzzle, we utilised a range of integrative tools, including detailed morphology, morphometry, barcoding and development tracking. We present the workflow, which enabled us to collect the data for each species/morphotype. As a result, we revealed the presence of three species, two characterised by an ontogenetic CC change and one with a stable CC. Finally, we provide a description of a new species, M. pseudotardigradum, which is extremely similar to M. tardigradum, but it can be phenotypically differentiated by a unique, double CC change pattern.
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