Research Collections of the Zoological Institute RAS — Pogonophores (Pogonophora)

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The collection of Pogonophora of ZIN RAS has been collected by efforts of dozen researchers for many decades, first of all of prominent russian zoologist, first-rate specialist in pogonophores and their actual discoverer academician A.V. Ivanov, creator and long-term head of Laboratory of evolutionary morphology ZIN RAS. That is the very name which is associated with the detailed comparative anatomical description of Pogonophora and its erection to a separate phylum — one of the most striking event in zoology of XX century.

First pogonophores got known to science in 1914 owing to findings of the Netherlands «Siboga» expedition in the seas of the Malayan Archipelago. First pogonophoran material in the collection of ZIN RAS came from P.V. Ushakov in 1932 from the Sea of Okhotsk. In 1949 A.V. Ivanov found a third representative of pogonophores from the Arctic (Laptev Sea).

Then the number of known species and volume of materials in the collection of the Zoological Institute began to grow rapidly, thanks mainly to the investigations of the soviet expeditions onboard the research vessel Vityaz (1949–1960) in the western part of the Pacific Ocean. In that period of time prof. L.A. Zenkevitch and prof. V.G. Bogorov (P.P. Shirshov’s Institute of oceanology RAS) considerably contributed to the quick supplement of the pogonophoran collection. Later on the pogonophoran materials came through in less quantities but regularly and from various parts of the World Ocean. Great contribution to this process was made by the colleagues from IO RAS and ZIN RAS Z.A. Filatova, G.M. Belyaev, A.V. Neelov, I.S. Smirnov, V.V. Potin, V.N. Romanov, etc.

At present the collection of pogonophores of ZIN RAS (both the collection of types with systematic part and undetermined materials) is the largest in the world and unique by its representativeness. The collection involved now 95 of 171 species of worldwide fauna of pogonophores and about 3500 deposit units.

The most part of the material corresponds to coastal seas and regions off the coasts of continents and large islands, also deepwater trenches and basins throughout the World Ocean and are well represented. The floors of the open ocean are less rich in pogonophores. The materials came mostly from the Pacific Ocean, mainly from its north-western and north-eastern parts, due to great number of expeditions which took place in these regions in various years. In general, pogonophoran biodiversity depends considerably on how some regions of the World Ocean are well studied or not. For example, there were only two species of Pogonophora known from the whole Antarctic Ocean for a long time, until regular investigations of Antarctic benthos allowed to increase their number by 7 times recently.

The collection is well structured and consists of three parts. The collection of types contains about 100 deposit units, systematic (determined) part contains more than 3000 units, undetermined part contains more than 200 deposit units. There are about 350 type specimens in the collection, mainly holotypes and paratypes, but several syntypes are also present.

Deposit units are represented by pots and mounts. Pots fill two cabinets (cabinet 1, shelfs 1,2,3,5 in upper part and shelfs 1,2 in lower part, cabinet 2, shelf 2 in lower part — collection of types and systematic collection; cabinet 1, shelfs 4,5 in upper part — undetermined collection). Hystological mounts are stored separately.

All main taxonomic units of Pogonophora (subclasses Frenulata, Vestimentifera and Monilifera) are represented in the collection. Frenulates are represented mostly complete — the both orders, all five families and 16 of 20 genera. Vestimentiferans are represented only by two species from two genera. Moniliferans — two species from both of known genera.

Illustrations in the specimens catalogue consist of photos of deposit units, specimens, and survey drawings of species main morphological features composed of views of holotype and other specimens as well.

The collection continues to grow due to materials of Russian and foreign expeditions and complex investigation projects, mainly in the Arctic Ocean, in the open part and coastal seas, mainly in Russian Arctic.


Collection Curator

Dr. Roman Smirnov, Researcher of the Laboratory of Evolutionary Morphology

Tel.: +7 (812) 328-06-12, ext. 328
Laboratory of Evolutionary Morphology, Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences
199034, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya nab., 1