Record of the non-indigenous species Sternaspis aff. nana Zhadan, Tzetlin & Salazar-Vallejo, 2017 (Annelida: Sternaspidae) in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean.
The introduction of non-indigenous marine species in new habitats is generally associated with ships arriving at ports, driven by species transported in ballast water and sediment and biofouling communities on ship hulls, drifting object and underwater surfaces in dock areas. The present paper reports the record of the specie Sternaspis aff. nana in the Atlantic Ocean, discussing its possible conservation status and method of arrival to Brazil. Sediments samples were collected in the external area (11 m depth) of the Suape Harbor (Brazil) in February 2018. Two individuals of Sternaspis aff. nana were recorded, representing the first record of this species in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. The way S. aff. nana arrived in Brazilian waters cannot be easily determined, the short-lived lecithotrophic larvae of sternaspids suggest that the specimens found in Suape have arrived in ballast sediment. An increase in trade between Brazil and Asian countries since the 2000s has led to that more ships coming from China having arrived in Brazilian harbors. The arrival of S. aff. nana, originally described in the South China Sea, in the Suape harbor area may have resulted from this intense movement of ships between China and Brazil.