Tardigrades of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This is a key and field guide to the Phylum Tardigrada in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It has been developed as part of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) (www.dlia.org). The key is designed to cover ONLY species in the park, though it includes approximately 70% of the known eastern U.S. limno-terrestrial species (H. Meyer pers. com.).

Using it for specimens from other sites could give erroneous results.  Characters for taxa above the species level are based on a key to limno-terrestrial tardigrades (including Heterotardigrada and Eutardigrada) by Nelson & McInnes (2002) and a key to Eutardigrada by Pilato & Binda (2010).

For a current checklist of all known tardigrade species, and the authorities for each, go to the University of Modena Tardigrade Webpage.

Key Author(s): P.J. Bartels & D.R. Nelson Key Version: 2011