Title

How Far Do Ciliate Flagships Sail?: A Proposed Gondawanaland Endemic Species at Anchor in Idaho Soils

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2017

Abstract

In terms of protist biogeography, “flagship species” (Foissner 2005) have been defined as those so remarkable or “showy” that they are unlikely to be overlooked when present in a given habitat. On this basis, flagship species have been suggested as an ideal or ultimate test for the existence of protist endemism. One example of a flagship ciliate is the terrestrial lepidosome-bearing trachelophyllid, Luporinophrys micelae, previously thought to be a Gondwanan endemic. This report comprises a morphologic description of two populations of L. micelae from Laurentian soils (Idaho, Northwest USA). The flagship concept is briefly reviewed and ciliate biogeography is discussed in light of these findings.