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

Grant number: 14/20557-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 02, 2015
Effective date (End): August 01, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Ricardo Pinto da Rocha
Grantee:Cristiano Sampaio Costa
Supervisor abroad: Gonzalo Giribet
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Harvard University, Cambridge, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:11/20211-0 - Systematic and phylogenetic analysis of Epiperipatus Clark, 1913 based on molecular and morphological data (Onychophora, Peripatidae), BP.DR


Onychophora is a key group to study invertebrate evolutionary patterns, currently represented by two clades, Peripatopsidae and Peripatidae. While the knowledge about the phylogeny in the former has seen substantial development, the latter counts with only two revisions after Bouvier's monograph [1] and, unfortunately, taxonomic problems in the group still remain. Peripatidae has up to 70% of its diversity concentrated in the Neotropics, comprising seven weakly defined genera; among these, Epiperipatus Clark 1913 is the largest, with about 25 species, although poorly delimited, with descriptions based on characters defined by Bouvier. Phylogenetic molecular analyses using mitochondrial sequence data indicate a possible Epiperipatus monophyly, but a morphological delimitation is still necessary to support this condition. Given its weak definition and large diversity, a cladistic revision of Epiperipatus is much needed. In this context, the ongoing project comprises a large Epiperipatus revision with an integrative approach, by means of a cladistic analysis based on morphological and molecular data. The Giribet Laboratory is an exponent in novel molecular studies, currently routinely using cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, (12S and 16S) rRNA, which were also adapted to onychophorans phylogenetic studies. This laboratory published more than 100 papers using these techniques and markers, including the mentioned optimization for onychophorans. Most of the onychophorans studied by the Giribet Laboratory are deposited in the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), including Epiperipatus specimens. Therefore, the present fellowship proposal is aimed towards a visit to the MCZ, in order to analyse specimens of Epiperipatus belonging to that collection and obtain molecular data to add to this project. (AU)

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Scientific publications (4)
(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; GIRIBET, GONZALO. Panamanian velvet worms in the genus Epiperipatus, with notes on their taxonomy and distribution and the description of a new species (Onychophora, Peripatidae). Invertebrate Biology, v. 140, n. 3 SEP 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
COSTA, CRISTIANO S.; FLS, GONZALO GIRIBET; PINTO-DA-ROCHA, RICARDO. Morphological and molecular phylogeny of Epiperipatus (Onychophora: Peripatidae): a combined approach. ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, v. 192, n. 3, p. 763-793, JUL 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
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.

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