This study represents the first survey of the parasitic fauna of cetaceans off the northeastern coast of Brazil. Parasites were collected from 82 animals rescued from the states of Ceará to Bahia, including the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. A total of 14 species of cetaceans were evaluated: Sotalia guianensis, Stenella sp., Stenella clymene, Stenella longirostris, Stenella coeruleoalba, Stenella frontalis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Peponocephala electra, Steno bredanensis, Kogia breviceps, Kogia sima, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Tursiops truncatus, Physeter macrocephalus and Lagenodelphis hosei. The parasites were fixed and preserved in 70% ethanol or alcohol-formalin-acetic acid solution (AFA), clarified in phenol and mounted on slides for morphological identification. In total, 11 species and 8 genera of endo- and ectoparasites were identified: Halocercus brasiliensis, Halocercus kleinenbergi, Stenurus globicephalae, Halocercus sp., Anisakis sp., Crassicauda sp. (Nematoda), Phyllobothrium delphini, Monorygma grimaldii, Scolex pleuronectis, Strobicephalus triangularis, Tetrabothrius forsteri, Tetrabothrius sp., Trigonocotyle sp., Diphyllobothrium sp. (Cestoda), Campula sp. (Trematoda), Bolbosoma sp. (Acanthocephala), Cyamus boopis, Syncyamus pseudorcae and Xenobalanus globicipitis (Crustacea). The identification of some species represented novel records for the country and increased the occurrence of some parasites to new hosts. The use of standardized methodologies for collecting and evaluating a larger number of animals is essential for a better understanding of host-parasite relationships in cetaceans and their use as biological indicators in the region.
Two new species of Parastacus Huxley, 1879 are described from material collected in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil: Parastacus fluviatilis sp. nov. from highland streams and Parastacus caeruleodactylus sp. nov. from wetlands. Parastacus fluviatilis sp. nov. is distinguished mainly by large chelipeds with dense setae cover on the cutting edge of fingers, telson subtriangular with two lateral blunt spines and strongly concave ventral surface of lateral process of thoracic sternites 6 and 7. Parastacus caeruleodactylus sp. nov. is distinguished mainly by blue cheliped fingers and a large gap between them, reduced abdomen, dorsal and ventral margins of dactylus, propodus and carpus of second pair of pereiopods with tufts of long setae and mid-dorsal carina of exopod of uropods unarmed. According to IUCN Red List criteria both species are considered endangered. Habitat characterization and a method for defining the shape of second abdominal pleura are also provided.
Two species of bopyrid isopods from the subfamily Athelginae are recorded from new localities in northeastern Brazil. Parathelges foliatus Markham, 1972 was recorded for the first time from Brazil, in the state of Ceará, parasitising the hermit crab Clibanarius symmetricus (Randall, 1840). Pseudostegias atlantica Lemos de Castro, 1965 is recorded from the state of Ceará, parasitising Clibanarius antillensis Stimpson, 1859. Illustrations, species diagnosis and an updated distribution map are given for each species.
ABSTRACT. The population biology and size at sexual maturity of Uca (Uca) maracoani were studied for the first time in a semi-arid tropical estuary of northeastern Brazil. A catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) technique was used to sample the crabs, on the surface and inside burrows, for 60-min sampling periods by one person on a monthly basis during spring low tide periods from June 2013 to June 2014 in an estuary area of Baixa Grande Beach. A total of 406 crabs were obtained, of which 317 were males, 87 non-ovigerous females, and two ovigerous females. Males were larger than non-ovigerous females. The U. (U.) maracoani population presented unimodal size frequency distribution, which may reflect a continuous recruitment, with no disruption of classes and constant mortality rates, indicating a stable population. The overall sex ratio (3.5 males: 1 female) differed significantly from the expected 1:1 proportion. The major cheliped was on the right side in 45.1% of the males, as reported for other fiddler crabs populations. A total of 294 males and 89 females were used in the allometric study. The specimens were measured at carapace width (CW), the major propodus length (MPL) of males, and abdomen width (AW) of females. In males, the relationship between CW and MPL was 22.3 mm CW, which is considered the functional value at maturity. In females, the size at sexual maturity was 19.3 mm CW based on the relationship between CW and AW. The CPUE method is discussed as one of the reasons of the high sex ratio skewed towards males. This is the first account regarding population structure of U. (U.) maracoani in semi-arid tropical areas. Keywords: Uca (Uca) maracoani, population structure, sex ratio, sexual maturity, CPUE technique.Estructura poblacional y madurez sexual del cangrejo Uca (Uca) maracoani (Latreille, 1802) (Crustacea: Decapoda: Ocypodidae) en un manglar semiárido tropical en el noreste de Brasil RESUMEN. La estructura poblacional y la madurez sexual morfométrica del cangrejo Uca (Uca) maracoani fueron estudiadas en un manglar tropical en el noreste de Brasil. Los cangrejos fueron colectados mensualmente durante los periodos de marea baja de junio 2013 a junio 2014. Se utilizó la técnica de captura por unidad de esfuerzo (CPUE) con períodos de una hora de captura realizada por una persona. Se obtuvo un total de 406 cangrejos: 317 machos, 87 hembras no-ovígeras y dos hembras ovígeras. El tamaño de los machos fue significativamente mayor que el de las hembras no-ovígeras. La población mostró una distribución unimodal de frecuencias de tamaños, lo que puede reflejar un reclutamiento continuo, sin interrupción de las clases y las tasas de mortalidad constantes, lo que indica una población estable. La proporción sexual (3.5 machos: 1 hembras) se alejó significativamente de la proporción esperada 1:1. El quelípodo mayor estaba en el lado derecho en el 45,1% de los machos, según lo informado por otras poblaciones.
The present contribution reports for the first time the sessile barnacle Xenobalanus globicipitis as an epizoic of the striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba in the oligotrophic waters of north-eastern Brazil. One barnacle specimen was found on a dead cetacean in Ceará State, north-eastern Brazil. Diagnosis and figures of the barnacle are provided and the relationship between the epizoic and the host discussed.
The characterisation of intraspecific genetic diversity in representatives of the South American crayfish genus Parastacus Huxley, 1879 is here carried out for the first time by comparing populations of Parastacus brasiliensis (von Martens, 1869) as currently defined. Phylogenetic reconstructions based on mitochondrial and nuclear markers indicate the existence of multiple lineages, of which only one can be considered as P. brasiliensis sensu stricto. In addition, there are seven other lineages, one of which is the subspecies Parastacus brasiliensis promatensis Fontoura & Conter, 2008, which is here elevated to species level. We thereby increase to 14 the number of recognised species within Parastacus in South America. Genetic distances among P. brasiliensis sensu stricto and the lineages ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ increase with geographical distances, suggesting isolation by distance as an important driver of diversification, and eventually speciation, in these burrowing crayfishes. Parastacus brasiliensis occurs mainly in the Guaíba Lake basin and studied populations show limited connectivity and gene flow, probably due to habitat fragmentation. On the basis of genetic and distribution data, the conservation status of P. brasiliensis sensu stricto is confirmed as Near Threatened (NT). These findings lead us to encourage the establishment of preservation areas for isolated populations. The importance of preserving the newly recognised distinct gene pools in order to maintain overall genetic diversity is emphasised.
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