<abstract language="eng">The purpose of this work is to analyse the taxonomy and distributional patterns of the species of the genus Munida Leach, 1820 which occur along the Brazilian coast. The species of Munida present some peculiar characteristics, rarely found in any other marine group. They live in groups with great number of individuals (gregariousness) and with several species found together in the same population (sintopy). In addition, they exhibit a great degree of intraspeciftc variation and, paradoxally, a little variability among the species. These factors make a better understanding of the systematics of this group very difficult. In the present study the utilization of non variable characters was emphasized. As a corollary of this study, "species-complexes" were defined including groups of species morphologically very similar but yet well characterized. Sixteen species with distribution along the Brazilian coast were studied. An identification key is provided. A general discussion where the main problems on taxonomy and distributional patterns of species were analysed was done
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