Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 367–390 | Cite as

The state of the art of Xyalidae (Nematoda, Monhysterida) with reference to the Brazilian records

  • Virág VenekeyEmail author
  • Paula F. Gheller
  • Tatiana F. Maria
  • Marco C. Brustolin
  • Noelia Kandratavicius
  • Danilo C. Vieira
  • Simone Brito
  • Guilherme S. Souza
  • Gustavo Fonseca
Diversity of marine meiofauna on the coast of Brazil


In the current study we provide a reviewed list of valid genera and species of Xyalidae, a widespread family of mostly marine free-living nematodes. Comments are added about the historic background and taxonomic situation of the family, all valid genera and, when necessary, diagnostic characters are given. Additionally, information about distribution and geographical location of species recorded along the Brazilian coast is provided. Our review recognized 46 valid genera, 450 valid species and 73 descriptions without enough morphological information for identification (species inquerendae). Nearly 80 % of the species inquerendae belong to Daptonema and Theristus. To avoid homonymies, two Daptonema species were renamed, Daptonema biwaensis (Tsalolikhin, 2002) new name (former Mongolotheristus timoshkini) and Daptonema vietnamensis (Gagarin and Thu, 2008) new name (former D. curvatum sensu Gagarin and Thu, 2008). Cenolaimus sapeloensis is transferred to Xyala sapeloensis comb. nov. Along the Brazilian coast 28 genera and 41 species have been recorded. The species Elzalia floresi, Metadesmolaimus tersus, Paramonohystera stricta, Pseudosteineria scopae, Rhynchonema cemae, R. veronicae, Steineria ericia, S. marcorum, S. pavo, S. tripartita, Theristus acribus, T. flevensis, T. macroflevensis, T. pertenuis, T. stranus, Trichotheristus heterus, T. setosus and Zygonemella striata have the Brazilian coast as the type locality. Among all species, three occurred across three geographic regions, while the large majority was restricted to one. Xyalidae is typically encountered in oceanic sandy beaches, with only the species belonging to Daptonema, Theristus, Trichotheristus and Zygonemella being recorded in estuarine sediments. This observation suggests that the colonization of inland waters occurred multiple times along the evolutionary history.


Marine nematodes Brazilian coast Xyalidae 



The authors acknowledge FAPESP-2011/21289-3 (São Paulo Research Foundation) by financially supporting the “Workshop Taxonomy and Diversity of Marine Meiofauna–Brazil”. The authors also thank Prof. Dr. Vladimir Gagarin for providing taxonomical literature and helping with the Russian articles, and Dr. Tania Nara Campinas Bezerra for helping with the genus Rhynchonema. The editor and anonymous referees are acknowledged for their suggestions. Gustavo Fonseca has been supported by FAPESP 2009/14019-0.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virág Venekey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paula F. Gheller
    • 2
  • Tatiana F. Maria
    • 3
  • Marco C. Brustolin
    • 4
  • Noelia Kandratavicius
    • 5
  • Danilo C. Vieira
    • 6
  • Simone Brito
    • 6
  • Guilherme S. Souza
    • 7
  • Gustavo Fonseca
    • 8
  1. 1.Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal do Pará (UFPA)BelémBrasil
  2. 2.Instituto OceanográficoUniversidade de São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrasil
  3. 3.Departamento de Ecologia e Recursos MarinhosUniversidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO)Rio de JaneiroBrasil
  4. 4.Centro de Estud os do MarUniversidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR)Pontal do ParanáBrasil
  5. 5.Laboratorio de Oceanografía y Ecología MarinaFacultad de Ciencias, Universidad de La RepublicaMontevideoUruguay
  6. 6.Centro de Biologia Marinha da Universidade de São Paulo (CEBIMAR-USP)São SebastiãoBrasil
  7. 7.Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de ZoologiaUniversidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)RecifeBrasil
  8. 8.Instituto do Mar, Universidade Federal de São PauloSantosBrasil

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