PhD candidate Débora Lucatelli, from Laboratório de Carcinologia, Departamento de Oceanografia Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil, visited the Department of Invertebrate Zoology for the last 5 months investigating the mantis shrimp genus Neogonodactylus (Crustacea, Stomatopoda, Gonodactylidae). Her visit was funded by the Brazilian government’s CAPES program.
The purpose of her visit was to study our collections for her doctoral dissertation entitled: "Taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography and ecology of the genus Neogonodactylus Manning, 1995 (Crustacea - Stomatopoda)".
Species of Neogonodactylus are found exclusively in shallow, marine waters of the Americas, with 8 eastern Pacific species, and 12 in the western Atlantic. Débora’s study included examination and morphological analysis of all of our Neogonodactylus type specimens. The morphological analysis included Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) of at least one specimen of each species. SEM revealed fascinating details and may help to determine additional characteristics to assist in defining morphological boundaries in similar species. She also sampled specimens for future DNA analyses.