Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 1931–1941 | Cite as

Recent introduction of non-indigenous vermetid species (Mollusca, Vermetidae) to the Brazilian coast.

  • Paula Spotorno-Oliveira
  • Ricardo Coutinho
  • Frederico Tapajós de Souza TâmegaEmail author
Original Paper


The present study describes the bioinvasion of the vermetid gastropod Eualetes tulipa of the Brazilian coast. The species was first reported in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Panama (since the 1840s); however, the type locality was not specified in the original species description. Since then, E. tulipa has been introduced to Hawaii, the Caribbean Sea, southeastern Florida and India. In Brazil, the first documented occurrence was in 2005, at Ceará State, northeast Brazil, and later in 2009 it was registered at Rio de Janeiro State, southeast Brazil, 3000 km from the previous location. Nowadays, they are not only found growing on artificial substrates but also along sandstone fringing reefs and rocky reefs coexisting with the native species Petaloconchus varians. The impact on the native benthic community is unknown; however, studies have suggested impacts such as competing for space with fouling communities (E. tulipa, Venezuela), and causing deleterious effects on corals (Ceraesignum maximum, French Polynesia). The possibility of spread through Brazilian endemic areas (e.g. Abrolhos Marine National Park), is a legitimate cause for concern as a result of oil industry shipping further distributing this non-indigenous species. E. tulipa has a continuous year-long reproduction and fast settlement, within 24 h of hatching. This reproductive mode allows for the highly successful invasion and establishment to new areas following maritime transport or natural rafting, predicting a rapidly widespread distribution and invasion of Brazilian and International waters.


Vermetidae Eualetes tulipa Introduction Bioinvasion Brazilian coast 



We are grateful to the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro-FAPERJ and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-CAPES for providing post-doc fellowships (PSO and FTST); the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico-CNPq for providing the productivity fellowship (RC) and the Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade for research licence SISBIO no 44575–3. We thank the Instituto de Estudos do Mar Almirante Paulo Moreira-IEAPM for field and laboratory support. We are also grateful to Cristina de Almeida Rocha-Barreira (CMPHRM – A), Helena Matthews Cascon and Cristiane Xerez Barroso (CMPHRM – B), Sérgio Mendonça Almeida and Luiz Ricardo L. Simone (MZSP), Luís Felipe Skinner (UERJ), Sula Salani Mota (MNRJ), Alina Rocha Pires Barboza and Tatiana Leite (LABECE, UFRN) for kindly assisting with the examined material in this study; to Daniel Souza dos Santos for the artwork in Fig. 1, to Gabriela Perna for kindly reviewing the English version; to Rudiger Bieler, an anonymous reviewer and the associated editor Victoriano Urgorri for improving this paper with useful comments. Rudmar Krumreick and Caroline Ruas (Centro de Microscopia Eletrônica do Sul, CEME-SUL, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, FURG) are thanked for the SEM images.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Spotorno-Oliveira
    • 1
  • Ricardo Coutinho
    • 1
  • Frederico Tapajós de Souza Tâmega
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Biotecnologia MarinhaInstituto de Estudos do Mar Almirante Paulo MoreiraArraial do CaboBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Geologia e Paleontologia, Instituto de OceanografiaUniversidade Federal do Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil

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