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Type: Article
Published: 2018-06-22
Page range: 561–574
Abstract views: 55
PDF downloaded: 2

Two new sympatric troglobitic freshwater flatworms (Platyhelminthes: Dugesiidae) from a hotspot of subterranean biodiversity in the Neotropics

Instituto de Pesquisas de Planárias and Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos—UNISINOS, 93022-750 São Leopoldo, RS, Brazil
Instituto de Pesquisas de Planárias and Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos—UNISINOS, 93022-750 São Leopoldo, RS, Brazil
Centro de Estudos em Biologia Subterrânea, Setor de Zoologia Geral, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Campus Universitário, Caixa Postal 3037, Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Platyhelminthes Tricladida Girardia stygobiont fauna Neotropical region


The Areias System, situated in the Atlantic Forest, is considered a hotspot of troglobitic diversity in Brazil. Herein we describe two new sympatric, troglobitic species of Girardia occurring in this system. Both species show minute eyes; one of them has a whitish body, and the other scattered, fine pigmentation over the dorsal surface. Regarding the copulatory apparatus, one of the species shows a bulbar cavity with multiple diverticula and a bursal canal of the angled type, whereas the other has a single, ovoid bulbar cavity and a smoothly curved bursal canal, among other distinguishing features. Thus, each species can be differentiated by a unique combination of features in its external morphology and copulatory apparatus. Both present a restricted distribution, occurring in a group of pools in travertine rock formed by water from the epikarst. The morphological features of both species and this sampling location indicate that both species are stygobionts



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