Chec List Crustaceans composition in sandy beaches of

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Chec List Crustaceans composition in sandy beaches of
ISSN 1809-127X (online edition)
© 2011 Check List and Authors
Open Access | Freely available at www.checklist.org.br
Journal of species lists and distribution
Crustaceans composition in sandy beaches of Sepetiba
Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ricardo S. Cardoso 1, Felipe Meireis 1,2* and Gustavo Mattos 1,3
Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Biociências, Departamento de Ecologia e Recursos Marinhos, Laboratório de
Ecologia Marinha. CEP 22290-240. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Biociências, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Biodiversidade
Neotropical). CEP 22290-240. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Biologia, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, CEP 21949-900. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
Corresponding author. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: A crustacean survey was made in Sepetiba bay, Rio de Janeiro state, southeastern Brazil. Twelve sandy beaches
were sampled on five islands in this embayment. A total of 3024 individuals were collected, belonging to 21 species, which
are grouped in 16 families, seven infraorders, seven suborders, and four orders. Isopods, followed by amphipods and
tanaids, showed the highest abundance, amounting to over 92% of the dominance of crustaceans. The main species were
Excirolana armata, Excirolana braziliensis (isopods), Atlantorchestoidea brasiliensis (amphipod), and Monokalliapseudes
schubarti (tanaid), which together accounted about 80% of crustaceans of the beaches studied. Excirolana braziliensis had
the highest frequency. The majority of species found are typical of sandy beaches, with large spatial distribution.
Crustaceans are typically marine invertebrates (Brusca
and Brusca 2007), and are commonly found in coastal
ecosystems, like estuaries, mangroves, rocky shores
and sandy beaches (Ri-Qing et al. 1997; Smith 2005;
Sanchez-Moyano and Garcia-Asencio 2011; Cardoso et al.
2011). Thus, many species have a great importance in the
economy, since several species are part of the human diet
as well as they are used as bait in fishing (Williams 1974;
Brown 1995). Moreover, these invertebrates can be used
in the assessment of environmental quality (Fowler et al.
1978; Bergamino et al. 2009; Amaral et al. 2010).
In sandy beaches all over the world, crustaceans
usually show a high dominance and frequency, especially
on beaches which are more exposed to waves (Defeo and
McLachlan 2005). Among members of carcinofauna in this
environment, peracarids (especially isopods, amphipods,
and mysids) and decapods (anomurans and brachyurans)
are the most abundant (McLachlan and Brown 2006).
Sepetiba Bay, located in the southern state of Rio
de Janeiro is a tropical ecosystem near the city of Rio
de Janeiro. This bay holds one of the most important
commercial ports in the Brazilian southeast region, with
intense touristic, fishing, and industrial activities. For this
reason it is considered an area of ​​potential development,
emerging as a great industrial and tourist center (Lacerda
et al. 1987).
The purpose of the present work was to list the species
of crustaceans inhabiting sandy beaches distributed on
islands in Sepetiba Bay, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Thereby, this study will enable future works about the
ecology of these species and the responses to the influence
of the harbor in this region.
Materials and Methods
The material studied is derived from project
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“Caracterização espacial da macrofauna de praias arenosas
em cinco Ilhas da Baía de Sepetiba, Rio de Janeiro”. Sepetiba
Bay (22°54’ – 23°04’ S; 44°34’ – 44°10’ W) is a sedimentary
embayment located in Rio de Janeiro state, southeastern
Brazil, with an area of 520 km2 (Cardoso et al. 2011). On
each twelve microtidal sandy beaches of five islands (Boi,
Flexeiras, Catita, Escalhau, Bonita, Jardim, Gamboa, Leste,
Estopa, Pitangueiras, Sul, and Pier) one sampling was
carried during 2007 and 2008 (Figure 1). The collected
sediment was sieved through a 0.50 mm mesh, and the
retained material was taken to the laboratory, where the
organisms were sorted by species, counted, and fixed in
5% buffered formalin. Identification was based on MañéGarzón (1949), Loyola e Silva (1960), Lemos de Castro and
Brum (1969), Barnard and Karaman (1991), Melo (1996;
1999), Loyola e Silva and Alves (2000), Serejo (2004),
Felder et al. (2009), and Souza-Filho (2011). Nomenclature
and taxonomy were based on Martin and Davis (2001)
and articles used to identification. The specimens were
deposited in the crustaceans collec­tion at Museu Nacional,
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (MNRJ).
Results and Discussion
A total of 3024 individuals of carcinofauna were
collected, belonging to 21 species, which are distributed in
16 families, seven infraorders, seven suborders, and four
orders (Table 1). Isopods, in conjunction with amphipods
and tanaids showed the highest abundance, amounting to
over 92% of the dominance of crustaceans.
The main species were the peracarids Excirolana
armata Dana, 1853, Excirolana braziliensis H. Richardson,
1912 (isopods) Atlantorchestoidea brasiliensis (Dana,
1853) (amphipod) and Monokalliapseudes schubarti
(Mañé-Garzón, 1949) (tanaid), which together accounted
for about 80% of crustaceans of the beaches studied.
Excirolana braziliensis had the highest frequency, occurring
Cardoso et al. | Crustaceans in sandy beaches of Sepetiba Bay, Brazil
in more than 80% of beaches.
The cirolanid isopods are considered generalists in
terms of occupation of the adverse environment that
represent the sandy beaches (McLachlan and Brown
2006), justifying the fact that these isopods were the most
frequent crustaceans on the beaches studied. Among
the species of cirolanids, E. braziliensis and E. armata
noteworthy for having a broad geographical distribution,
often being found in coexistence (Defeo et al. 1997). The
first occurs in tropical, subtropical and temperate along
the coasts of the Atlantic and North Pacific (Cardoso and
Defeo 2003) while the second is more restricted, occurring
from Rio de Janeiro to Argentina (Ribetti and Roccatagliata
The high abundance of A. brasiliensis found on the
beaches studied corroborate with the study by Veloso et
al. (2003), showing that this species is typically found
in high abundance on the exposed sandy beaches of
Rio de Janeiro. Besides this amphipod, the tanaid M.
schubartii, had high abundances, however occurring only
at two beaches (Gamboa and Pier beaches), which one are
characterized by fine sediment (Cardoso et al. 2011). It can
be explained by the fact that this species is related to high
concentrations of organic matter that is usually associated
with fine sediment (Bemvenuti et al. 1978; McLachlan and
Brown 2006).
Figure 1. Location map of the 12 beaches sampling in Sepetiba Bay, also showing the bay mouth and Atlantic Ocean. 1: Jardim; 2: Flexeiras; 3: Gamboa;
4: Leste; 5: Boi; 6: Sul; 7: Escalhau; 8: Estopa; 9: Pitangueiras; 10: Catita; 11: Bonita; 12: Pier.
Other species founded, but not with high abundances
and frequencies, are typical inhabitants of sandy beaches
and have a large spatial distribution as the mole crab
Emerita brasiliensis Schmitt, 1935 (decapod) that is
commonly found in the intertidal of reflective sandy
beaches along the Atlantic coast of South America from
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) to Montevideo (Uruguay) (Defeo
and Cardoso 2004). Accordingly, the blue crab of genus
Callinectes Stimpson 1860 is a swimming decapod that is
widely distributed from Nova Scotia to northern Argentina
(Norse 1977). Another common species of sandy beaches
which was found in only two beaches was the hermit crab
Pagurus criniticornis Dana, 1852. These high abundances
of hermit crabs may be related with the dominance of
gastropods Cerithium atratum in these beaches (Cardoso
et al. 2011), since P. criniticornis has a clear preference for
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living in empty shells of this gastropod (Dominciano et al.
During the identification of specimens for this work,
a new genus and new species was found and described
by Souza-Filho (2011). It is the amphipod Ruffosius
fluminensis (Figure 2) that was found in four of the beaches
The description of this new genus and new species
shows the importance of a taxonomic survey in
environments where the studies are scarce, thus sandy
beaches of Sepetiba Bay are a potential area for the
discovery of new species and new occurrences. Moreover,
these organisms that inhabit this environment can be
used as bioindicators, once the beaches are ecosystems
that suffer with the human action, for example recreation,
cleaning and pollution (Defeo et al. 2009).
Cardoso et al. | Crustaceans in sandy beaches of Sepetiba Bay, Brazil
Table 1. List of crustacean species found on 12 beaches studied from Sepetiba Bay.
Caprella penantis Leach, 1814
Ruffosius fluminensis Souza-Filho, 2011
Cymadusa filosa Savigny, 1816
Monoliropus enodis Rayol and Serejo, 2003
Excirolana armata (Dana, 1853)
Excirolana braziliensis Richardson, 1912
Metacirolana cf. riobaldoi (Lemos de Castro and Lima, 1976)
Sphaeromopsis mourei (Loyola e Silva, 1960)
Tylos niveus Budde-Lund, 1885
Monokalliapseudes schubarti (Mañé-Garzón, 1949)
Alpheus nuttingi (Schmitt, 1924)
Emerita brasiliensis Schmitt, 1935
Pagurus criniticornis (Dana, 1852)
Upogebia vasquezi Ngoc-Ho, 1989
Callinectes sp.
Panopeus americanus de Saussure, 1857
Pinnixa chaetopterana Stimpson, 1860
Dissodactylus crinitichelis Moreira, 1901
Hepatus gronovii Holthuis, 1959
Figure 2. Ruffosius fluminensis Souza-Filho, 2011. Sul beach, Sepetiba
Bay, Rio de Janeiro, MNRJ21823. Scale bar: 0.5 mm.
Acknowledgments: The authors wish to thank Dr. A. Senna (MNRJ), Dr.
T.C.G. Silva (UFRJ) and Dr. J.F. Souza-Filho (MNRJ) for their help with the
identification of material as well to Dr. V. B. Skinner for English language
revision. Thanks to Dr. L.E.A. Bezerra (UFPE), Dr. A. Senna (MNRJ), and an
anonymous reviewer for critical reading and valuable suggestions on the
final manuscript. The study was supported by the Fundação de Amparo
à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), and CT-Infra (Fundo
Setorial de Infra-Estrutura) by MCT/CNPq (No. E-26/171.164/2006).
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Received: June 2011
Last Revised: October 2011
Accepted: October 2011
Published online: December 2011
Editorial responsibility: Luis Ernesto Arruda Bezerra
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