Mollusk fauna from shallow-water back reef habitats of Paraíba coast, northeastern Brazil

Rafaela C. S. Duarte, Ellori L. S. Mota & Thelma L. P. Dias

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Conservação, Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, Laboratório
de Biologia Marinha, Departamento de Biologia. Campina Grande, PB, Brazil.


Back reef systems, represented by seagrass beds, algal banks, lagoons, mangroves, patch reefs, and other underwater habitats of the back reef zone, often harbor a great biological diversity and high abundance of many species. In this study, we provide the first inventory of the molluscan fauna associated to three shallow-water back reef habitats (algal banks, seagrass beds, and patch reefs) along the coast of Paraíba state, northeastern Brazil. During random searches, we recorded 65 mollusk species distributed in the classes Polyplacophora (2 spp.), Gastropoda (48 spp.), Cephalopoda (1 sp.), and Bivalvia (14 spp.), belonging to 40 families and 51 genera. Five gastropod species were recorded for the first time for the coast of Paraíba State: the large Lobatus costatus (Gmelin, 1791) (Strombidae), and the opisthobranchs Bursatella cf. leachii Blainville, 1817 (Aplysiidae), Discodoris evelinae Er. Marcus, 1955 (Discodoridiidae), Oxynoe antillarum Mörch, 1863 (Oxynoidae), and Elysia subornata A.E. Verrill, 1901 (Plakobranchidae). The variety of habitats provided by different back reef biotopes favors colonization of small species, large gastropods, including some species of commercial value such as Turbinella leavigata Anton, 1838 (Turbinellidae) and Voluta ebraea Linnaeus, 1758 (Volutidae), and uncommon bivalves, which makes these biotopes of special relevance for monitoring and conservation.

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Cite as: Duarte R.C.S., Mota E.L.S. & Dias T.L.P. (2014) Mollusk fauna from shallow-water back reef habitats of Paraíba coast, northeastern Brazil. Strombus 21(1–2): 15–29.

Publication date: 31 December 2014.