Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 1–5 | Cite as

The non-indigenous medusa Blackfordia virginica (Hydrozoa, Leptothecata) in tropical Brazil: 50 years of unnoticed presence

  • Milena Freire
  • Gabriel Nestor Genzano
  • Sigrid Neumann-Leitão
  • Carlos Daniel Pérez
Invasion Note


Blackfordia virginica, a hydromedusa native to the Black Sea, has become established in a number of estuarine areas worldwide. In estuaries of northeastern Brazil, only a single published report, from the early 1960s, exists of the species and its establishment here has remained doubtful. On discovering specimens collected in the region at various times between 1987 and 2000, however, we hypothesized that this hydromedusa has long inhabited estuaries in the area while going unnoticed. The objective of this study was to investigate its occurrence in brackish waters of tropical northeastern Brazil over the past 50 years. In a search for specimens we found 1,759 individuals from estuaries of the Santa Cruz Channel (Itamaracá) and Capibaribe and Jiquiá rivers that had been collected between 1987 and 2000. In addition, an analysis of grey literature (Ph.D. theses) suggests that the species has been present in the Santa Cruz Channel for at least five decades. Results thus support the hypothesis that this non-indigenous species has been established in the region for several decades at least, and that it constitutes an exotic component of the community.


Cnidaria Hydromedusa Bioinvasion Southwestern Atlantic Ocean 



We thank to Dra. L. Iannuzzi (Depatment of Zoology, Pernambuco Federal University-UFPE) and National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development-CNPq Brazil (300038/2005-4) for the visitant professor fellowship of GNG. MF was supported by Institutional Program for Scientific Fellowship-PIBIC fellowship (CNPq—UFPE). R. Schwamborn (Dpto Zoologia, UFPE) provided plankton samples from Santa Cruz Channel (February, 2000). A. M. Santos prepared the map of the study area. This paper was partially supported by EXA 546/11 (Mar del Plata National University-UNMdP) and PIP 112 201101 00152 (National Scientific and Technical Research Council, CONICET). Special thanks go to KATZENHAUS Scientific Translations for an early English version and to anonymous reviewers who provide valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milena Freire
    • 1
  • Gabriel Nestor Genzano
    • 2
  • Sigrid Neumann-Leitão
    • 3
  • Carlos Daniel Pérez
    • 4
  1. 1.Centro de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, ProdemaUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Estación Costera Nágera, Dpto. Cs. MarinasInstituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Mar del PlataFunes 3250, 7600 Mar del PlataArgentina
  3. 3.Departamento de OceanografiaUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  4. 4.Centro Acadêmico de VitoriaUniversidade Federal de PernambucoVitoria de Santo AntãoBrazil

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