Morphological and Molecular Redefinition of Euplotes platystoma Dragesco & Dragesco‐Kernéis, 1986 and Aspidisca lynceus (Müller,1773) Ehrenberg, 1859, with Reconsideration of a “Well‐known” Euplotes Ciliate, Euplotes harpa Stein, 1859 (Ciliophora, Euplotida)

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We documented the morphology, infraciliature, silverline system, and molecular data of two euplotid species isolated from China, including two populations of the poorly known Euplotes platystoma Dragesco & Dragesco‐Kernéis, 1986 and the previously well described Aspidisca lynceus (Müller, 1773) Ehrenberg, 1830. Based on the information available, an improved diagnosis of Euplotes platystoma is given, including: a narrow adoral zone with 44–68 membranelles, 10 frontoventral, 5 transverse, 2 left marginal and 2 caudal cirri, 11–13 dorsal kineties with 17–25 dikinetids in the mid‐dorsal row, and dorsal silverline system of the double‐eurystomus type. The Chinese population of Aspidisca lynceus closely resembles previously described populations. Phylogenetic analyses inferred from SSU rDNA sequences show that E. platystoma is closely related with E. neapolitanus, and the internal position of A. lynceus within this genus is still not robust. A reconsideration of the “well‐known” Euplotes harpa and a comparison of all SSU rDNA sequences of E. harpa in GenBank are provided. We speculate that the sequences available from GenBank under the name of E. harpa are very likely from misidentified materials, that is, the identity of the species currently associated with the SSU rDNA of this “well‐known” form in molecular databases requires further confirmation.