A New Paralepetopsis Limpet from a South China Sea Seep Hints at a Paraphyletic Neolepetopsidae

Chong Chen*, Zhaoyan Zhong, Jian Wen Qiu, Jin Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Neolepetopsidae is a little-studied true limpet family only known from deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems, containing just over a dozen species in three genera: Neolepetopsis, Paralepetopsis, and Eulepetopsis. Although considered monophyletic by a recent phylogenetic analysis, a lack of Paralepetopsis sequence linked to morphology casts some uncertainty. Here, we discovered a new species of Paralepetopsis from the Haima methane seep in the South China Sea, described as Paralepetopsis polita sp. nov. The new species is distinct from all other described Paralepetopsis by its smooth and semi-transparent shell, combined with a radula exhibiting pluricuspid teeth with two cusps. We tested its relationship with other neolepetopsids using a molecular phylogeny reconstructed from the mitochondrial COI gene, revealing a surprising position nested within Lepetidae, a family with a very different radula morphology. The clade containing lepetids and our new species was recovered sister to other neolepetopsids with sequence data available. This hints at a paraphyletic Neolepetopsidae, and suggests the neolepetopsid-type radula might not be exclusive to one monophyletic group of limpets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
JournalZoological Studies
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cold seep
  • Deep sea
  • Gastropoda
  • Mollusca
  • Phylogenetics


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