Science News
from research organizations

News from the depths: A new cave-dwelling flatworm species from the Brazilian savanna

Date:
January 28, 2015
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
Field research in a limestone cave in the Brazilian savanna recorded the first obligate cave-dwelling flatworm of the suborder Continenticola in South America. The species has the characteristic triangular head of the South American freshwater planarians of the suborder, but it is eyeless and unpigmented, as are typical cave-dwelling organisms. The species belongs to the genus Girardia, in which species recognition is difficult. However, the new species shows a unique feature in its reproductive apparatus.
Share:
FULL STORY

This image shows the new species Girardia multidiverticulata.
Credit: Lívia Cordeiro; CC-BY 4.0

Recently, field research by the Brazilian zoologists Lívia Cordeiro and Rodrigo Borghezan, of the Universidade de São Paulo (USP), recorded the first obligate cave-dwelling planarian of the suborder Continenticola (Platyhelminthes) in South America. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

The new species Girardia multidiverticulata belongs to the genus Girardia, in which species recognition is difficult, because of the great morphological resemblance between species. However, the new species can be easily recognized by a unique feature in its reproductive apparatus, namely a large bulbar cavity with multiple diverticula.

G. multidiverticulata was described by the south Brazilian research group on triclads, led by Dr. Ana Leal-Zanchet, of the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), in São Leopoldo, southern Brazil The type-locality of the new species is a limestone cave, located at 266 m a.s.l. in the karst area of Bodoquena Plateau. The flatworms were directly sampled from a lake (10 m2) in the cave, at a depth of 25 m.

Despite a significant development of the speleobiology in Brazil over the last two decades, species diversity of Brazilian cave fauna, especially of invertebrates, has been highly underestimated. The Bodoquena Plateau, which is located in the Cerrado Biome (Brazilian savanna), in central Brazil, has about 200 recorded caves with a rich system of subterranean water resources and high troglobitic diversity.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ana Maria Leal-Zanchet, Stella Teles de Souza, Ana Laura Nunes Morais, Lívia Medeiros Cordeiro. The first troglobitic species of freshwater flatworm of the suborder Continenticola (Platyhelminthes) from South America. ZooKeys, 2015; 470: 1 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.470.8728

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "News from the depths: A new cave-dwelling flatworm species from the Brazilian savanna." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150128113832.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2015, January 28). News from the depths: A new cave-dwelling flatworm species from the Brazilian savanna. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150128113832.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "News from the depths: A new cave-dwelling flatworm species from the Brazilian savanna." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150128113832.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

RELATED STORIES