Protistology 3 (4) 201–217 (2004)
Review of diversity and taxonomy of cercomonads
Alexander P. Myl'nikov 1 and Serguei A. Karpov 2
1 Institute for the Biology of Inland Waters, Borok, Yaroslavl district, Russia
Cercomonads are very common heterotrophic flagellates in water and soil. Phylogenetically they are a key group of a protistan phylum Cercozoa. Morphological and taxonomical analysis of cercomonads reveals that the order Cercomonadida (Vickerman) Mylnikov, 1986 includes two families: Cercomonadidae Kent, 1880 (=Cercobodonidae Hollande, 1942) and Heteromitidae Kent, 1880 em. Mylnikov, 2000 (=Bodomorphidae Hollande, 1952), which differ in several characters: body shape, temporary/habitual pseudopodia, presence/absence of plasmodia stage and microtubular cone, type of extrusomes. The family Cercomonadidae includes Cercomonas Dujardin, 1841 and Helkesimastix Woodcock et Lapage, 1914. All species of Cercobodo are transferred to the genus Cercomonas. The family Heteromitidae includes Heteromita Dujardin, 1841 emend. Mylnikov et Karpov, Protaspis Skuja, 1939, Allantion Sandon, 1924, Sainouron Sandon, 1924, Cholamonas Flavin et al., 2000 and Katabia Karpov et al., 2003. The names Bodomorpha and Sciviamonas are regarded as junior synonyms of Heteromita. The genus Proleptomonas Woodcock, 1916 according to its morphology is not a cercomonad, and is not included in the order. The genus Massisteria Larsen and Patterson, 1988 is excluded from the order Cercomonadida on the basis of molecular evidence and different pseudopodia.
Key words: cercomonads, cercozoa, taxonomy, biodiversity, Cercomonas, Massisteria, Helkesimastix, Cercobodo, Heteromita, Protaspis, Allantion, Sainouron, Cholamonas, Katabia, Bodomorpha, Proleptomonas, Sciviamonas
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