Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 343–365 | Cite as

Two new species of Rhynchonema Cobb, 1920 from a Brazilian sandy beach

Diversity of marine meiofauna on the coast of Brazil


Rhynchonema Cobb, 1920 is a genus with worldwide distribution. It is found in diverse coastal environments ranging from brackish water to exposed beaches in intertidal and low subtidal zones, from clay to coarse sand and in sediments under seagrass beds. In this study we describe two new tropical species from Northeast South America: Rhynchonema cemae sp.n. and R. veronicae sp. n. from Olinda’s Isthmus, Pernambuco, Brazil. These two species are mainly characterized by the shapes of the spicules and gubernaculum, which are described here for the first time. The two species can be differentiated primarily on the basis of the spicules, which in R. cemae are symmetrical, fine and long, while in R. veronicae they are asymmetrical, more robust and shorter. We describe for the first time the presence of Rhynchonema species on the east side of South America and provide a review of the genus and a polytomous identification key. Our review of the literature and construction of a polytomous key demonstrated that most of the species descriptions are incomplete.


Rhynchonema sp.n Sandy beach Tropical Marine nematode Revision South America 



We thank Pierre Misseghers and Lisa Mevenkamp for their help with the translations of the German articles; Xiuqin Wu for the translation of the Chinese article; Sofie Derycke for her help with the use of the software PAUP in an attempt to elaborate a cladogram with the described species. We gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments of the two anonymous reviewers and of Dr. Gustavo Fonsêca, editor of this journal issue, which improved an earlier draft of this article. The research at Olinda’s Isthmus by Tania Nara Bezerra was supported by FACEPE–Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia, Secretaria de Ciência e Tecnologia, PE (BPD-0088-2.05/94) and CNPq–Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico, Brazil (200720/95-3).


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of BiologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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