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Taxonomic review of the genus Pleurobranchaea (Gastropoda: Pleurobranchoidea) from Brazil, with description of a new species
Alvim, J.; Simone, L.R.L.; Dias Pimenta, A. (2014). Taxonomic review of the genus Pleurobranchaea (Gastropoda: Pleurobranchoidea) from Brazil, with description of a new species. J. Moll. Stud. 80(5): 604-623. hdl.handle.net/10.1093/mollus/eyu063
In: Journal of Molluscan Studies. Oxford University Press: Reading. ISSN 0260-1230, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    New species; Pleurobranchaea Leue, 1813 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Alvim, J.
  • Simone, L.R.L.
  • Dias Pimenta, A.

Abstract
    Based on a literature review and anatomical analysis we recognize 17 valid species of the genus Pleurobranchaea worldwide and summarize their characters. Many of these species have been insufficiently described and many have numerous synonyms. Four species have been recorded from the western Atlantic: P. agassizii, P. obesa, P. tarda and P. inconspicua. Pleurobranchaea inconspicua was originally described based on only one specimen from northern Brazil. This study gives a detailed redescription of P. inconspicua, based on material from Brazil, and of the similar P. gela, based on specimens from West Africa, to clarify their taxonomic validity. A new species from the Brazilian coast, P. spiroporphyra n. sp., is described. The traditional characters used in characterization of Pleurobranchaea species are evaluated and novel characters proposed. Traditionally, anatomy of the male apparatus, particularly the shape of the cross section of the cuticular stylet, was considered the most useful character to distinguish species. We describe different portions of the cuticular stylet of P. inconspicua and show that shape and size vary along its length. These characters seem not to be species-specific if only one portion of the cuticular stylet is examined. Other features, such as the position of the aperture of the salivary duct, the position and presence or absence of extrinsic and intrinsic odontophoric muscles, the configuration of nerves of the cerebropleural and pedal ganglia and the shape of the seminal receptacle, can be used to distinguish species. Pleurobranchaea spiroporphyra can be distinguished from other species by having a bright orange labial cuticle in front of the jaws, by a well-developed odontophore muscle m2b, by a laterally flattened, purple cuticular stylet that coils 12–14 times inside the penial sac and shows a thin crest close to the gonopore.

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