Three new species of the order Monhysterida are described based on specimens obtained at depths of 8081 and 9177 m in the Kermadec Trench. Thelonema clarki sp. nov. is characterised by a large body size (3230–4461 µm), short cylindrical buccal cavity, gubernaculum without apophyses, and long conico-cylindrical tail. This is the first record of the genus since its original description over two decades ago from the Peru Basin. Metasphaerolaimus constrictus sp. nov. is characterised by a relatively long body (1232–1623 µm), slightly arcuate spicules without gubernaculum, and conico-cylindrical tail with inner cuticle conspicuously thickened immediately anterior to cylindrical portion. Monhystrella kermadecensis sp. nov. is characterised by a circle of papillose outer labial sensillae slightly anterior to the four short cephalic setae, gubernaculum with caudal apophyses, the presence of distinct cuticularised piece along anterior vaginal wall, and a relatively short conical (males) or conico-cylindrical tail (females) with conical, ventrally-curved spinneret. M. kermadecensis sp. nov. can be differentiated from all other species of the genus, and, indeed, the entire family, based on the variable position of the anterior gonad relative to the intestine. The new species is classified within the Monhysteridae, and not the closely-related Xyalidae, based on the small body size, a smooth cuticle, and the presence of six outer labial papillae and only one testis. Further work is required to clarify the placement of M. kermadecensis sp. nov. relative to other monhysterid genera. A tabular key to all ten valid Metasphaerolaimus species is presented.
Linhomoeidae, Sphaerolaimidae, Monhysteridae, hadal, New Zealand.