Imposex in endemic volutid from Northeast Brazil (Mollusca: Gastropoda)

Imposex is characterized by the development of masculine sexual organs in neogastropod females. Almost 120 mollusk species are known to present imposex when exposed to organic tin compounds as tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT). These compounds are used as biocide agents in antifouling paints to prevent the incrustations on boats. Five gastropod species are known to present imposex in Brazil: Stramonita haemastoma, Stramonita rustica, Leucozonia nassa, Cymathium parthenopeum and Olivancillaria vesica. This paper reports the first record of imposex observed in the endemic gastropod Voluta ebraea from Pacheco Beach, Northeast Brazil. Animals presenting imposex had regular female reproductive organs (capsule gland, oviduct and sperm-ingesting gland) and an abnormal penis. As imposex occurs in mollusks exposed to organotin compounds typically found at harbors, marinas, shipyards and areas with high shipping activities, probably contamination of Pacheco Beach is a consequence of a shipyard activity located in the nearest areas.

Imposex; Voluta ebraea; Endemic, Brazil; Organotin; Contamination


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