Pyura gangelion and Pyura beta sp. nov. (Ascidiacea: Pyuridae): an exotic and a new tunicate from the West Atlantic.

Affiliation

Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Ciências. Laboratório de Ecologia e Dinâmica Bêntica Marinha. Rua Francisco Portela 1470, Patronato, São Gonçalo, RJ, Brazil. 24435-005.. [Email]

Abstract

The genus Pyura is widely distributed with 99 valid species. Since 1961, Pyura vittata (Stimpson, 1852) has been reported to the Southwest Atlantic but new collections and a revision of the morphological characters of samples deposited in scientific collections revealed that samples had been confused with two other species: Pyura gangelion (Savigny, 1816) and Pyura beta sp. nov. present in the Caribbean sea and Brazil. In Brazil, P. vittata is not present south to Bahia, P. beta was found from Espírito Santo to São Paulo, while P. gangelion was only found in Espírito Santo, and we suggest that populations of both P. beta and P. gangelion are non-native in Brazil.

Keywords

Ascidiacea, taxonomy, biodiversity, species distribution, exotic species, Pyura gangelion, West Atlantic, Brazil, nonindigenous ascidians,