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A Remarkable Anomuran: The Taxon Aegla Leach, 1820. Taxonomic Remarks, Distribution, Biology, Diversity and Conservation

  • Sérgio Luiz de Siqueira BuenoEmail author
  • Roberto Munehisa Shimizu
  • Juliana Cristina Bertacini Moraes
Chapter

Abstract

The family Aeglidae comprises three genera, one extant (Aegla) and two extinct genera (Protaegla and Haumuriaegla), the latter two genera are known only from fossils from marine sediments (indicating a marine origin for the group). Aegla contains all extant species and constitutes a monophyletic group within the Anomura. All 78 species and subspecies described so far are entirely adapted to freshwater habitats and are endemic to temperate and subtropical regions of continental South America. While most species are found in epigean habitats, there are a few cave-dwelling species in southeastern Brazil. The reproductive period varies from 8 to 12 months (in species from colder higher latitudes), to 4–7 months (in species from lower latitudes where warm-rainy and cold-dry seasons alternate). The adult males of seasonally breeding species include two morphotypes, one non-reproductive and the other reproductive. Eggs are large and few in number, and post-embryonic development is epimorphic. Juveniles have limited dispersal capacity and recruits tend to remain with the parental population. Aegla is the most severely threatened group among South American freshwater decapods because of habitat degradation, high endemism, a restricted area of occupancy, and a severely fragmented spatial distribution with reproductively isolated subpopulations.

Keywords

Aeglidae Decapoda Freshwater Threatened species Review 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The first author (Sérgio LS Bueno) would like to express his deepest and sincerest gratitude to Dr. Tadashi Kawai and Dr. Neil Cumberlidge for kindly inviting him to write the present chapter; an invitation that was later extended to include two other colleagues as co-authors. The first author would also like to thank the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) for providing financial support (grants: 2003/07941-3, 2008/27128-0 and 2014/14462-9) during the past 12 years to support the study of these remarkable freshwater aeglids. Thanks to Tessa Bueno and Dr. Neil Cumberlidge for reviewing the English text; to Emerson Ramos Nogueira for illustrations of the São Pedro landscape (Fig. 2.13), and to Sérgio Schwarz da Rocha, Felipe Pereira de Almeida Cohen, Bruno Fernandes Takano for providing some of the pictures used in this work. Their individual credits are provided with the figure legends.

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sérgio Luiz de Siqueira Bueno
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roberto Munehisa Shimizu
    • 2
  • Juliana Cristina Bertacini Moraes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Institute of BiosciencesUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Institute of BiosciencesUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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