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On-line version ISSN 2358-2936

Nauplius vol.28  Botucatu  2020  Epub Mar 09, 2020 

Original Article

Two new records of terrestrial isopods (Isopoda, Oniscidea) from the state of Paraíba, Brazil

Ivanklin Soares Campos-Filho1

Iluliane Maria Gadelha Correia2

Emanuel da Costa Cavalcante2

Ailson de Lima Marques2

Débora Coelho Moura2

José Otávio Aguiar1

1Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Recursos Naturais. Av. Aprígio Veloso, 882, Bairro Universitário. 58429-140 Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil.

2Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Unidade Acadêmica de Geografia. Av. Aprígio Veloso, 882, Bairro Universitário. 58429-140Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil.


Two species of Oniscidea are recorded for the state of Paraíba for the first time. Cubaris murina Brandt, 1833 from Campina Grande and Cabaceiras and Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833) from Campina Grande. Moreover, Alloniscus buckupi Campos-Filho & Cardoso, 2018 and Atlantoscia floridana (Van Name, 1940) have their distribution extended, and a short discussion about the record of A. buckupi in a semiarid area is provided.

Keywords: Woodlice; Northeastern Brazil; Caatinga biome; Neotropics; distribution


Terrestrial isopods (Oniscidea) comprise more than 3,800 species in 38 families distributed in almost all types of terrestrial habitats (Schmalfuss, 2003; Javidkar et al., 2015; Richardson and Araujo, 2015; Sfenthourakis and Taiti, 2015; Taiti, 2018). Among them, 192 species are known from Brazil, mostly from southeastern and southern regions (Campos-Filho et al., 2018a; 2019). In the state of Paraíba, Northeastern Brazil, three species are recorded, Alloniscus buckupiCampos-Filho and Cardoso, 2018 (Alloniscidae) and Atlantoscia floridana (Van Name, 1940) (Philosciidae) from João Pessoa, and Armadillidium vulgare (Latreille, 1804) (Armadillidiidae) from Boqueirão (Lemos de Castro, 1985; Zimmermann et al., 2015; Campos-Filho et al., 2018b).

In this work two species of terrestrial isopods are recorded from the state of Paraíba for the first time: Cubaris murinaBrandt, 1833 from Campina Grande and Cabaceiras, and Porcellionidaes pruinosus (Brandt, 1833) from Campina Grande. In addition, A. buckupi and A. floridana were also found to occur in Campina Grande, the former in the Caatinga biome, which will be briefly discussed below.


The material was collected with the aid of pitfall traps as proposed by Aquino et al. (2006). The traps consisted of Styrofoam containers 10 cm high and 10 cm diameter with a solution of 100 ml ethanol 70% and 5 ml of detergent. The sampling was carried out during the dry season, from 9 to 13 October 2017. The soil salinity and pH levels of the sampling site were measured with aid of TDS&EC B-M1X and ATC 0-14 pen type equipment, respectively. The material was stored in 75% ethanol and identifications were based on morphological characters. The species were examined with the aid of Biofocus SQFL-BI and Olympus CH-2 microscopes and, when necessary, appendages were mounted in micro-preparations with Hoyer’s medium (Anderson, 1954). The material is deposited in the Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (MZUSP).

Study area

The state of Paraíba is located in northeastern Brazil with an area of about 56,000 km2 (3.6% of the Northeastern Region total area). The state is mainly covered by Caatinga and Atlantic forest (MMA, 2015; SUDENE, 2017). The Caatinga formation has a large territorial coverage, more than 900,000 km2 (approximately 54% of the territory of the Northeastern Region and 11% of the whole Brazilian territory), and it composes the vegetation mosaic of the Seasonal Tropical Dry forests (Andrade-Lima, 1981; Silva et al., 2011; Pereira et al., 2017; SUDENE, 2017). According to Köppen’s criteria, the state has three distinct climate regions: 1) littoral, ‘Agreste’ and ‘Brejos de Altitude’ with rainfall of about 1,800 mm/year; 2) ‘Sertão’, with rainfall of about 820 mm/year; and 3) ‘Borborema Plateau’, with rainfall of about 800 mm/year (Francisco et al., 2015).

The specimens were collected in ‘Campus I’ of the Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG), Campina Grande, and in the municipality of Cabaceiras (Figs. 1, 2), both inserted in the Borborema Plateau and the Brazilian semiarid region (SUDENE, 2017). Campina Grande is located at 560 m a.s.l., annual average temperature of about 25ºC, rainfall period from February to August, and vegetation composed of Seasonal Forest and Caatinga (Limeira, 2008). Cabaceiras is located near Paraíba river, approximately 400 m a.s.l., with extreme Semiarid climatic domain, annual rainfall of about 270 mm (Corrêa et al., 2010).

Figure 1. Sampling areas (●). Legend: red line = Northeastern Brazil limit; yellow area = Caatinga formation; green area = Atlantic forest. 

Figure 2. Study area. A, Artificial lake, Campina Grande; B, Caatinga, Campina Grande; C, D, Caatinga, Cabaceiras. 


Family Alloniscidae Schimdt, 2003

Genus Alloniscus Dana, 1854

Alloniscus buckupi Campos-Filho & Cardoso, 2018

Material examined. 2 ♂♂ (MZUSP 40090), Campina Grande, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG), 7º12’53”S 35º54’54”W, 09-13 October 2017, colls. I.M.D. Correia and D.C. Moura.

Distribution. This species is recorded from Cabo Branco beach, João Pessoa (Campos-Filho et al., 2018b). The present record considerably extends its distribution.

Family Philosciidae Kinahan, 1857

Genus Atlantoscia Ferrara and Taiti, 1981

Atlantoscia floridana (Van Name, 1940)

Material examined. Many ♂♂ and ♀♀ (MZUSP 40091), Campina Grande, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG), 7º12’53”S 35º54’54”W, 09-13 October 2017, colls. I.M.D. Correia and D.C. Moura.

Distribution. Originally described from Florida, USA (Van Name, 1940) and recorded from Argentina, Brazil (from Amapá to Rio Grande do Sul states), coastal regions of Florida, and Ascension and St. Helena Islands (Schmalfuss, 2003; Campos-Filho et al., 2013; 2018a). In the state of Paraíba, this species was recorded from Parque da Bica (Zoobotanical Garden Arruda Câmara), João Pessoa (Lemos de Castro, 1985). The present record extends the species distribution in the state.

Family Armadillidae Brandt, 1833

Genus Cubaris Brandt, 1833

Cubaris murinaBrandt, 1833

Material examined. 1 ♂, 5 ♀♀ (MZUSP 40092), Campina Grande, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG), 7º12’53”S 35º54’54”W, 09-13 October 2017, colls. I.M.D. Correia and D.C. Moura; 1 ♂ (MZUSP 40093), Cabaceiras, 7º24’46”S 36º18’12”W, coll. E.M. Cavalcante.

Distribution. Circumtropical species (Schmalfuss, 2003). In Brazil, it is recorded from the states of Pará, Bahia, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Espírito Santo, Paraná, and Santa Catarina (Campos-Filho et al., 2017; 2018a).

Family Porcellionidae Brandt, 1831

Genus Porcellionides Miers, 1877

Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833)

Material examined. 4 ♂♂, 11 ♀♀ (MZUSP 40094), state of Paraíba, Campina Grande, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG), 09-13 October 2017, leg. I.M.G. Correia and D.C. Moura.

Distribution. Cosmopolitan species of Mediterranean origin (Schmalfuss, 2003). In Brazil, it is recorded from the states of Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Pará, Piauí, Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Catarina (Campos-Filho et al., 2018a).


To date, the Caatinga comprises a high biodiversity with a high number of endemics (Leal et al., 2005; Loebmann & Haddad, 2010), and, as other Brazilian biomes, suffers with high levels of degradation due to overexploitation of its natural resources (Alves et al., 2009).

Among the species mentioned here, the most intriguing is the presence of A. buckupi in a semiarid area. To date, all species of Alloniscus are distributed in coastal areas, except the doubtful A. simplexSchmölzer, 1974 from Aberdare mountains, Kenya (Schmalfuss, 2003; Campos-Filho et al., 2018b). The specimens of A. buckupi were collected near an artificial lake within UFCG (Fig. 1A), where the dissolved salt and pH levels strongly exceed sea levels (1,282 ppm and 10.8 vs. 35 ppm and 7.4-8.5). Salt dependency related with physiology have been published in different groups of littoral species (e.g., Moens and Vincx, 2000; Braby and Somero, 2006; Pétillon et al., 2011; Sandman et al., 2013). Within Oniscidea, many papers regarding the systematics of coastal species have been published (e.g., Taiti and Howarth, 1996; Taiti et al., 2003; 2018; Taiti and Lopez, 2008; Messina et al., 2011; 2012; Lisboa el al., 2017; Pérez-Schultheiss et al., 2018), but only a few studies approached the relationships between species and salt environments (e.g., Barnes, 1932; 1934; 1935; 1940; Zimmer et al., 2002; Lopes-Leitzke et al., 2009; 2011). Alloniscus buckupi is considered to be introduced to Campina Grande and, probably, the salt levels of the artificial lake allow the species to survive in this area. All species of the genus are diggers on sandy beaches, probably to avoid water loss and predation (see Schmalfuss, 1884). Campos-Filho et al. (2018b) mentioned that specimens of A. buckupi were collected during a drizzle in Cabo Branco beach, João Pessoa. The specimens from Campina Grande were collected from soil samples, confirming the digger habit of this species.


This study was partially funded by CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), Finance Code 001, and a PNPD scholarship to ISC-F (CAPES/PNPD/UFCG/CTRN/PPGRN/201713705-5).


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Received: October 21, 2019; Accepted: January 10, 2020

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Corresponding author Ivanklin Soares Campos-Filho

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