Schackoinella spina n. sp. has been found in the eastern Alboran Sea at five different stations in water depths ranging from 258–330 m, as well as in one 532 m deep station in the Gulf of Cádiz, north-eastern Atlantic Ocean. Three stations have been sampled with a giant box core (BC) and two stations with a gravity core (GC) system. The sediments of the BCs and the GCs are characterized by cold-water coral (CWC) debris and a high abundance of biogenic components (e.g., bryozoans, echinoderms, bivalves, gastropods, serpulids, foraminifera). The surface samples from the BCs were treated with an ethanol-rose Bengal solution following standardized sampling protocol. In the BC samples the specimens of Schackoinella spina n. sp., were collected from the surface (0–1 cm). In particular, one BC sample (MD13-3456BC) contained six live (stained) specimens and an abundance of non-stained specimens (46 per 50 cm3 sediment). The new species was found at several sediment depth intervals corresponding to a Holocene age.
The occurrence of this small (60–140 mm) species in the Alboran Sea and Gulf of Cádiz has likely been overlooked in this region. Although not straightforward, the presence of this species in association with cold-water coral fragments and its absence in fine-grained pelagic sediments may indicate a relationship with this ecosystem.