Marine Biodiversity Records

Research Article

Molluscan diversity in the North Atlantic Ocean: new records of opisthobranch gastropods from the Archipelago of the Azores

Manuel António E. Malaquiasa1 c1, Gonçalo P. Caladoa2, Vinicius Padulaa3, Guido Villania4 and Juan L. Cerveraa5

a1 Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK, Present address: Bergen Museum, University of Bergen, Muséplass 3, N-5007 Bergen, Norway

a2 Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Lisboa, Portugal and Centre for Ecological Modeling IMAR, FCT/UNL, Monte da Caparica, Portugal

a3 Departamento de Invertebrados, Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista s/n, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 20940-040, Brazil

a4 Istituto di Chimica Biomolecolare (CNR), Via Campi Flegrei, 34, 80078 Pozzuoli (Naples), Italy

a5 Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Ambientales, Universidad de Cádiz, Polígono del Río San Pedro s/n, Apdo. 40, 11510 Puerto Real (Cádiz), Spain

Abstract

New findings of opisthobranch gastropods are reported to the Azores resulting from fieldwork undertaken in the islands of Faial and São Jorge (Central Group, Azores) during August 2007. Intertidal and subtidal areas down to 35 metres deep were sampled. Forty-four species were collected and eight are new records to the Azores, namely Chelidonura africana, Odontoglaja sabadiega, Aplysia juliana, Elysia flava, Thuridilla picta, Doris sticta, Catriona maua and Taringa armata. This increases the diversity of opisthobranchs in the archipelago to 141 species. Our results provide further support for the closer affinity of the Azorean marine diversity with the eastern Atlantic/Mediterranean Sea biota (75% of species) but they also show a biogeographic bound with the Caribbean province (25% of common species).

(Received November 28 2007)

(Accepted July 31 2008)

Keywords

  • Mollusca;
  • Opisthobranchia;
  • biodiversity;
  • Azores;
  • Atlantic ocean

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Manuel António E. Malaquias, Department of Zoology, Bergen Museum, University of Bergen, Muséplass 3, N-5007 Bergen, Norway email: Manuel.Malaquias@bm.uib.no.