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DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4092.1.6

Two new species of freshwater flatworms (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida: Continenticola) from South American caves

STELLA SOUZA, ANA LAURA MORAIS, MARIA ELINA BICHUETTE, ANA LEAL-ZANCHET

Abstract


The diversity of freshwater triclads in the Neotropical region is considered to be low, but extensive areas of South America remain almost unexplored. Herein we describe two cave-dwelling, new species of Girardia, one from a transition zone of the Cerrado and Caatinga phytophysiognomies and the other from the Cerrado phytophysiognomy. The species from the Cerrado-Caatinga transition is a troglobite, eyeless and whitish; the species from the Cerrado area is possibly a troglophile, since it shows heavily pigmented body and eyes. Each species is easily recognized by a unique combination of features in its external morphology and copulatory apparatus. The two new species of Girardia show a restricted distribution, even the troglophile, and occur in caves without legal protection. Therefore, they must be considered as vulnerable organisms in a conservation context.

 


Keywords


Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Girardia, new cave-dwelling species, subterranean fauna, Brazilian savannah, Caatinga

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ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa