Caudofoveata is an important component of the deep-sea benthos, being one of the dominant groups in some locations, and having species with extensive distributions. Despite this importance, the Caudofoveata are little known, especially regarding the diversity and distribution patterns of its species from the South Atlantic Ocean. Recently, through the analysis of samples collected in the Brazilian Northeastern coast, about 13 species were obtained and are currently under studies. Some of them are very similar with species from USA, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean seas, and this similarity triggered a necessity of a comparison among them, by a detailed examination of the material deposited in the National Museum of Natural History (USNM), including the types of most species described from the North Atlantic. Thus, by this comparison this BEPE-DR proposal aims to evaluate the conectivity between the Northwestern and Southwestern Atlantic of caudofoveate aplacophoran faunas, through the description of new occurrences from Brazil, and also the new, up to now unknown new species. The material from the USNM collection will be analyzed from the external morphology, as well as by the observation of the many detailed characters of the oral disc, radula and sclerites through the scanning electron microscopy. For the same species found in the Brazilian and in the north Atlantic, distribution models will be applied to evaluate if these can occur in other areas. This study will provide valuable information about the taxonomy and geographical distributions of an important and little known group from the deep sea benthic fauna.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: