Pinheiro, Ulisses Dos S., Hajdu, Eduardo & Custódio, Márcio R., 2007, Aplysina Nardo (Porifera, Verongida, Aplysinidae) from the Brazilian coast with description of eight new species, Zootaxa 1609, pp. 1-51: 47

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Aplysina  in the Tropical western Atlantic

Despite the extensive faunistic surveys on the Brazilian littoral zone and continental shelf undertaken between the 1960 ’s and the turn of the century, no other specimen of A. archeri (Higgins, 1875)  was recollected. Therefore, we believe the record by Lendenfeld [1889; for Polejaeff’s (1884) A. tenuissima  ] to be a mistaken identification (probably A. lacunosa  cf. Pinheiro & Hajdu, 2001) and consider this record invalid. We also invalidated A. capensis  , following the steps of Carter (1881) and Bergquist (1980). We had the opportunity to reexamine several of Carter’s (1881), South African specimens ( BMNH? – type, BMNH 1871.5. 12.1, BMNH 1938.3.26.82), which clearly contain abundant foreign inclusions in their fibres, thus being exclused from Aplysina  ’s scope. De Laubenfels’ (1956) Brazilian record of the species is thus unreliable in view of the absence of a description, absence of a voucher specimen, and unrecognizable identification.

Aplysina  is one of a few sponge genera to present a larger diversity in the Atlantic (ca. twenty species), than the Indo-Pacific (fifteen species—many of which undoubtedly unrecognizable) oceans. In the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean region was the center of larger diversity, with seven species known: A. archeri, A. Bathyphila  , A. cauliformis  , A. fistularis  , A. fulva  , A. lacunosa  and A. ocracea (sensu Maldonado & Young, 1998)  . In the present work we described eight additional new species and a new record for the Brazilian coast, raising the number of annotated species in this region from six (Pinheiro & Hajdu, 2001) to fifteen. Additional species for the Caribbean are also certain, as realized from a preliminary comparative assessment of Aplysina  specimens in the BMNH and ZMAAbout ZMA collections. These await a much needed revision of Caribbean specimens, which given the rationale above, is to be based on extensive field observations conducted on as many localities, as far apart from each other, as possible, as already argued for by Wiedenmayer (1977) for sponges in general. Considering Aplysina  ’s conspicuousness, abundance and diversified chemistry associated to promising biological activities, it is a clear priority for a deeper, comprehensive taxonomic revision.

Following is the amended list of species of Aplysina  occurring in the South-western Atlantic, after which a tentative identification key for these species is offered: A. alcicornis  sp.n., A. caissara  , A. cauliformis  , A. cristagallus  sp.n., A. fistularis  , A. fulva  , A. insularis  , A. lacunosa  , A. lactuca  sp.n., A. lingua  sp.n., A. muricyana  sp.n., A. orthoreticulata  sp.n., A. pergamentacea  , A. pseudolacunosa  sp.n. and A. solangeae  sp.n. In total, fifteen species were recognized.


Universiteit van Amsterdam, Zoologisch Museum













Pinheiro, Ulisses Dos S., Hajdu, Eduardo & Custódio, Márcio R. 2007


A. ocracea (sensu

Maldonado & Young 1998