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Systematic and phylogenetic analysis of Epiperipatus Clark, 1913 based on molecular and morphological data (Onychophora, Peripatidae)

Grant number: 11/20211-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2012
Effective date (End): April 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Ricardo Pinto da Rocha
Grantee:Cristiano Sampaio Costa
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/20557-2 - Systematic and phylogenetic analysis of Epiperipatus Clark, 1913 (Onychophora: Peripatidae) based on molecular and morphological data, BE.EP.DR


The Onychophora body plan have suffered few changes since its origin in the Cambrian period. Therefore, the Phylum is a keystone group to the study of invertebrate evolutionary patterns. The onychophorans have a Gondwanic distribution and only two extant families, Peripatopsidae and Peripatidae. The former has an Austral distribution whereas the later a Septentrional one. The family Peripatidae has up to 70% of its diversity concentrated in the American continent, comprising seven weakly defined genera. Among that, Epiperipatus is the largest Peripatidae genus and its distribution is also widespread, occurring since Costa Rica to the southeast of Brazil. The genus comprise up to 24 species and the majority of them were described over the past three years. Additionally, its boundaries are not well defined and the taxonomy of the genus still have been based on characteristics defined by Bouvier at the 20th century. Only one revision of Peripatidae have been done after Bouvier's monographs, which included data from the integument ultrastructure, but its taxonomic problems remain still present. Recently, molecular systematic studies, based on DNA fragments analysis (COI and 12S rRNA), point out the possibility of existence of cryptic species among Epiperipatus and, as a result, cast doubt on the quality of the morphological definition of the Epiperipatus species. Given its weak definition, widespread distribution, and large diversity, the cladistic revision of the Epiperipatus genus is certainly an important issue. Therefore, this project aims to solve the genus inconsistence through an integrative approach, using cladistic analysis based on morphological and molecular data. (AU)

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Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
COSTA, CRISTIANO SAMPAIO; CHAGAS-JUNIOR, AMAZONAS; PINTO-DA-ROCHA, RICARDO. Redescription of Epiperipatus edwardsii, and descriptions of five new species of Epiperipatus from Brazil (Onychophora: Peripatidae). Zoologia, v. 35, 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.
GIRIBET, GONZALO; BUCKMAN-YOUNG, REBECCA S.; COSTA, CRISTIANO SAMPAIO; BAKER, CAITLIN M.; BENAVIDES, LIGIA R.; BRANSTETTER, MICHAEL G.; DANIELS, SAVEL R.; PINTO-DA-ROCHA, RICARDO. The `Peripatos' in Eurogondwana? - Lack of evidence that south-east Asian onychophorans walked through Europe. INVERTEBRATE SYSTEMATICS, v. 32, n. 4, p. 842-865, 2018. Web of Science Citations: 2.
CONCHA, ANDRES; MELLADO, PAULA; MORERA-BRENES, BERNAL; COSTA, CRISTIANO SAMPAIO; MAHADEVAN, L.; MONGE-NAJERA, JULIAN. Oscillation of the velvet worm slime jet by passive hydrodynamic instability. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, v. 6, MAR 2015. Web of Science Citations: 10.
CHAGAS-JUNIOR, AMAZONAS; COSTA, CRISTIANO SAMPAIO. Macroperipatus ohausi: redescription and taxonomic notes on its status (Onychophora: Peripatidae). Revista de Biología Tropical, v. 62, n. 3, p. 977-985, SEP 2014. Web of Science Citations: 4.
CORONATO-RIBEIRO, AMANDA; PINTO-DA-ROCHA, RICARDO; RHEIMS, CRISTINA ANNE. A new species of Imeri (Opiliones: Stygnidae: Heterostygninae) from the Brazilian Amazon. Zoologia, v. 30, n. 3, p. 329-332, Jun. 2013. Web of Science Citations: 0.
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
COSTA, Cristiano Sampaio. Systematic and phylogenetic analysis of Epiperipatus Clark, 1913 (Onychophora: Peripatidae) based on molecular and morphological data. 2016. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências São Paulo.

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