Nine new species of Bugula Oken (Bryozoa: Cheilostomata) in Brazilian shallow waters.

PloS one

PubMedID: 22808173

Vieira LM, Winston JE, Fehlauer-Ale KH. Nine new species of Bugula Oken (Bryozoa: Cheilostomata) in Brazilian shallow waters. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(7):e40492.
Bugula is a speciose genus of marine bryozoans, represented by both endemic and cosmopolitan species distributed in tropical and temperate waters and important to marine biologists because of the occurrence of many species in harbor and fouling communities, therefore as potential invaders. The southeastern Brazilian coast in the southern Atlantic hosts the highest known diversity of the genus, a status intimately associated with the intensity of collecting efforts.

Morphological data based on the examination of living specimens, scanning electron and light microscopic images, and morphometric analyses were used to assess the diversity of Bugula along the coastal areas of southern, northeastern, and southeastern Brazil. In this study, morphological species boundaries were based mainly on avicularian characters. For two morphologically very similar species, boundaries are partially supported by 16 S rDNA molecular data.

Nine species are newly described from Brazil, as follows: Bugula bowiei n. sp. ( = Bugula turrita sensu Marcus, 1937) from the southern, northeastern, and southeastern coasts; Bugula foliolata n. sp. ( = Bugula flabellata sensu Marcus, 1938), Bugula guara n. sp., Bugula biota n. sp. and Bugula ingens n. sp from the southeastern coast; Bugula gnoma n. sp. and Bugula alba n. sp. from the northeastern coast; Bugula rochae n. sp. ( = Bugula uniserialis sensu Marcus, 1937) from the southern coast; and Bugula migottoi n. sp., from the southeastern and southern coasts.

The results contribute to the morphological characterization and the knowledge of the species richness of the genus in the southwestern Atlantic (i.e., Brazil), through the description of new species in poorly sampled areas and also on the southeastern coast of that country. Additionally, the taxonomic status of the Brazilian specimens attributed to B. flabellata, B. turrita and B. uniserialis are clarified by detailed studies on zooidal and avicularia morphology.