Biologists from AllGenetics, the Universidade da Coruña, and the Aarhus Universitet, have announced that a new razor shell species has been discovered off the island of Newfoundland, Canada.
The new species has been named Ensis terranovensis Vierna & Martínez-Lage 2012, and was found off Long Pond, Conception Bay, Newfoundland. The discovery is the result of the collaborative project that Spanish geneticists Joaquín Vierna, Ana M. González-Tizón, and Andrés Martínez-Lage are developing with Danish marine ecologist Kurt Thomas Jensen. In this project a population genetic analysis of the razor shell Ensis directus was carried out. This analysis has allowed the researchers to identify the new species. Molecular results were confirmed by morphometrics.
Ensis directus is a razor shell native to the eastern coast of the USA and Canada. This species was introduced to European coastal waters in 1978, and its European distribution spreads now from Norway to France, including isolated populations in Wales and northern Spain. In this work, high levels of genetic variation were recorded in introduced populations of this species.
This work will soon be published in the journal Marine Biology and represents an interesting contribution both to the fields of Ensis systematics and population dynamics of introduced species.