Congocepheus gabonensis, Fernandez & Theron & Rollard & Tiedt, 2013

Fernandez, Nestor, Theron, Pieter, Rollard, Christine & Tiedt, Louvrens, 2013, Family Carabodidae (Acari: Oribatida) V. The genus Congocepheus Balogh, 1958 (second part), with a redescription of Congocepheus involutus Mahunka, 1997, and descriptions of two new species, Zoosystema 35 (4), pp. 551-579: 560-566

publication ID 10.5252/z2013n4a8

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Congocepheus gabonensis

n. sp.

Congocepheus gabonensis   n. sp.

(Figs 6-10; Table 1)

ETYMOLOGY. — The specific epithet is derived from Gabon, where the type species was collected.

MATERIAL EXAMINED. — Holotype: 1 ♀, Makokou , North-eastern Ogoové-Ivindo Province, 0°34’0”N, 12°52’0’’E, 500 m. altitude, dense evergreen humid forest, Y. Coineau coll. I.1974 ( MNHN). GoogleMaps  

Paratypes: same date as holotype and preserved in ethanol 70%; 3 ♀♀ ( MNHN), 3 ♀♀ ( MHNG), 3 ♀♀ ( NMP), 6 ♀♀ not deposited, used for SEM   .

TYPE LOCALITY. — Makokou, North-eastern Ogoové-Ivindo Province, 0°34’0”N, 12°52’0’’E.

DIAGNOSIS (ADULT FEMALE). — Setae:rostral, interlamellar, notogastral and adanal, lanceolate rugous-dentate margin; ro, with two medial longitudinal veins; others with one medial longitudinal vein, ro directed inwards; in curving backwards; fourteen pairs of notogastral setae; c 2 directed forwards; others directed backwards; epimeric, aggenital, sub-capitular setae, simple; anal setae spiniform; genital setae spiniform, basally inflated.

Prodorsum; polyhedral, anterior margin rounded; prominent elevated interlamellar process. Notogastral anterior depression deep, exceeding, extending to posterior part of prodorsum; shallow lamellar furrow deep, large, horse-shoe shaped with large elevated cuticular ribbon in central zone; ro insertion; anterior rounded end of horseshoe-shaped area; cornea superior naso present, surrounded by deep furrow; robust rounded lamellar tip. Bothridial opening laterally, directed slightly backwards; bothridial ring incomplete, bothridial tooth present. Sensillus uncinate. Humeral apophysis ovoid; anterior tip penetrating posterior bothridial zone.

Notogaster   ; posterior oval, anterior rectangular; clearly visible finger-like projection situated between c 1 setae; circumgastric furrow delimiting two zones; central and lateral; elevated central zone with polyhedral depression pattern and c 1, la, lm, lp, h 2, h 1 setae inserted; lateral zone curving, smooth, with h 3, p 1, p 2, p 3 setae inserted.

Tutorium; curving rod-like cuticular thickening; supratutorial depression deep; anterior and posterior tutorial depression pockets, present. Pedotecta I, II, discidium. Ventral region; epimera 1, 2, 3, slightly elevated, delimited by small deep furrow; 3 and 4 fused. Epimeral chaetotaxy 3-1-3-3. Genital zone, anal opening, polyhedral shape, delimited laterally by cuticular thickening; polyhedral depressions, slightly deeper than normal; one pair of aggenital setae situated posterior genital plate and close to ad 3 setal insertion level. Four pairs of genital setae. Three pairs of adanal seta. Two pairs of anal setae; anal plate with small sharp end. Lyrifissures iad not discernible.



SEM 370 Μm (361-403) × 222 Μm (117-231) (measurements from six specimens). Light microscopy 290 Μm (298-305) ×168 (172-176) (measurements from six specimens).

FIG. 6. – Congocepheus gabonensis   n. sp. adult, scanning electron micrographs: A, dorsal view; B, frontal view; C, posterior view; D, ro, setae; E, lateral view, p 3 setae. Abbreviations: see Material and methods. Scale bars: A-C, 100 μm; D, 1 μm; E, 10 μm.


Prodorsum; polyhedral; notogaster; ovoid (Fig.6A).


Specimens without cerotegument, dark brown to brown, clear; slightly shiny, when observed in reflected light.


Specimens covered by thin cerotegumental layer. SEM observations; faintly rugous-porous, irregularly granulate or smooth.

Prodorsum; granulate, notogaster:faintly rugousporous (Fig. 6A).

Ventral region; faintly rugous-porous around genital, anal opening, paraxial epimeric zone; smooth: epimeric zone with paraxial zone weakly rugousporous (Fig. 9A, B).


Prodorsal microsculpture; slightly tuberculate: e.i.p; pusticulate:zone between in and ro setae; undulate: bo, lamella; smooth: depressed posterior zone; l.l.f zone and CSO.

Notogastral microsculpture; reticulate: central zone; faintly irregularly tuberculate: h.ap, smooth: lateral zone and around n.a.d.

Lateral microculpture; faintly irregularly tuberculate: sejugal and depressed zones; smooth: Pd I, Pd II and discidum.

Ventral microsculpture; faintly irregularly tuberculate: infracapitulum; smooth: epimeric zone, ventral shield, anal and genital plates.


Lanceolate: ro, in, c 1, c 2, da, dm, dp, la, lm, lp, h 1, h 2, h 3, p 1, p 2, p 3, adanal; ro rugous–dentate margin, two medial longitudinal veins (Fig. 6D), directing inwards (Figs 6B; 7B, C); in, c 1, da, dm, dp, la, lm, lp, h 1, h 2 V-shaped, margin rugous-dentate, one medial longitudinal vein (Fig. 6E); margins elevated producing V-shape, directing backwards (Figs 6A-C; 7A-D; 8A, B; 9D);c 2 directing forwards; in wide, curving (Figs 6A, B; 7A, B, D; 8B); c 1, da, dm, dp, la, lm, lp, h 1, h 2 more or less similar width; h 3, p 1, p 2, p 3 small (Figs 6A-C; 7A); adanal setae similar in length (Figs 8C; 9A, B); simple: epimeric, aggenital, sub-capitular (Figs 8C; 9A); spiniform: anal (Fig. 9E); spiniform basally inflated: genital (Fig. 9F).


Polyhedral, rounded apically (Figs 6B; 7C); e.i.p prominent elevated rounded end (Figs 6B; 7A, B). Posterior zone: e.i.p depressed (Fig. 6A, C). Three pairs of setae; size in>le=ro ( Fig. 7B, C View FIG ); ro setae curving, directed inwards, converging; each apical tip touching the other ( Fig. 7B, C View FIG ); inserted behind CSO, curving in setae, directed backwards (Figs 6A-C; 7A, B, D; 8A, B) positioned on cuticular transversal ribbon on e.i.p ( Fig. 7B, C View FIG ); le setae laterally ( Fig.7 View FIG A-C).Rostral anterior margin rounded ( Fig. 7C View FIG ); lamellae run dorsolaterally; l.l.f deep, large, complex horse-shoe shaped furrow (Fig. 6B); both furrows separated by large elevated cuticular ribbon, ro inserted on anterior rounded end of horse-shoe ( Fig. 7B, C View FIG ); CSO ovoid, situated in front of l.l.f., surrounded by deep furrow; l.l.f end far to la.ti ( Fig. 7B View FIG ); robust la.ti structure with rounded tip. Bothridial opening lateral, backwards directed ( Figs 7A View FIG ; 8A; 9C); incomplete bo.ri, smooth; sharply tipped, clearly visible, si uncinate (Fig. 9C). Slightly to front of, and at level of ro setae insertions, CSO clearly visible ( Fig. 7B, C View FIG ) as smooth ovoid structure (dorsal view) and convex (in lateral view). Furrow surrounding CSO posteriorly and laterally ( Fig. 7B, C View FIG ).


Shape; posterior oval (dorsal view) (Figs 6A; 8B); anterior medial zone rectangular; convex elevated (lateral view) ( Figs 7A View FIG ; 8A); narrow, rectilinear, well delimited (Figs 6A; 8B); n.a.d ovoid, deep, extending forwards and exceeding up to posterior zone of e.i.p (Figs 6C; 8A).

Fourteen pairs of setae (c 1, c 2, da, dm, dp, la, lm, lp, h 1, h 2, h 3, p 1, p 2, p 3); c 2 forwards directed; c 1, da, dm, dp, la, lm, lp, h 1, h 2, h 2, p 1, p 2, p 3, backwards directed (Figs 6A; 7A; 8A); f.l.p clearly visible between c 1 setae (Figs 6A; 8B). Circumgastric furrow easily discernible delimiting two zones: central and lateral; central zone ovoid, elevated with polyhedral depression pattern (Figs 6A, B; 8B; 9D) where la, lm, lp, h 2, h 1 setae are inserted. Lateral zone, curved,

FIG. 8. – Congocepheus gabonensis   n. sp. adult: A, lateral view; B, dorsal view; C, ventral view. Abbreviations: see Material and methods. Scale bar: 100 μm.

FIG. 9. – Congocepheus gabonensis   n. sp. adult, scanning electron micrographs: A, ventral view; B, ventral posterior view; C, lateral view, humeral apophysis and bothridial opening; D, notogastral setae; E, anal setae; F, genital setae.Abbreviations:see Material and methods. Scale bars: A, 100 μm; B, C, 10 μm; D, 10 μm; E, F, 1 μm.

more or less smooth, with h 3, p 1, p 2, p 3 setae; near, cuticular aligned ribbons ( Figs 7A View FIG ; 8A; 9B).

Lateral region

Prodorsum; e.i.p elevated. Setae in clearly visible, curving, backwards directed ( Figs 7A, B, D View FIG ; 8A). Lam easily discernible, ending in round la.ti extending to le setae insertion ( Fig. 7B View FIG ); tu curving rod-like cuticular thickening; s.tu.d deep; a.tu.d pocket depression present; posterior zone tu and close to Pd I, ovoid posterior depression (p.tu.d) ( Fig. 7A View FIG ).

Pedotectum I; prominent extending lamina covering the first acetabulum; situated almost parallel to tu, positioned backwards ( Figs 7A View FIG ; 8A). Pedotectum II; ovoid lamina, medium size ( Figs 7A View FIG ; 8A), situated slightly backwards from acetabulum II, with its posterior part in contact with trochanter III. Discidium situated slightly inwards and ventrally (Fig. 8C), for this reason hardly discernible in lateral view.

Bothridium ovoid to polyhedral ( Figs 7A, B View FIG ; 9C); bothridial opening laterally;bo.ri smooth, incomplete, clearly discernible; present (Fig. 9C). Humeral apophysis ovoid; upper tip penetrating posterior bothridial zone ( Figs 7A View FIG ; 8A). Excavated depression on h.ap clearly visible (indicated by arrow in Fig. 8A).

All setae (prodorsal and notogastral) clearly visible ( Figs 7A View FIG ; 8A); s.c hardly discernible. Lyrifissures not discernible (see Remarks). Several large depressions clearly discernible at level of leg III and behind leg IV ( Figs 7A View FIG ; 8A).

Posterior view

Elevated interlamellar process and posterior zone of prodorsum reached by n.a.d, clearly discernible (Fig. 6C). All notogastral setae easily discernible. Central and lateral notogastral zones delimited by s.c, well discernible (Fig. 6C). Notogastral ornamentations clearly discernible (Figs 6C; 9B).

Ventral region

SEM: observations flat ventrally (Fig. 9A) and slightly inclined postero ventrally (Fig. 9B). Epimera slightly elevated, delimited by slightly deep furrow (bo.1, bo.2, (Figs 8C; 9B). Epimera 4 fused, epimeral furrow (bo.3) small (Fig. 8C); apo 1, apo 2, and apo 3 well discernible. Epimeral chaetotaxy 3-1-3-3 (see Remarks). Discidium (dis) triangular, rounded apex expansion; a.g.f hardly discernible, situated in front of genital plate.

Genital and anal opening zone; depressed polyhedral, delimited laterally by cuticular thickening; externally to cuticular thickening, the lateral wall descending obliquely. All these zones with large deeper than usual polyhedral depressions (dep). Aggenital setae situated backward to genital opening; inserted slightly paraxially and close to ad 3 setal insertion level (Fig. 8C). Four pairs of genital setae. Three pairs of adanal setae.Two pairs of anal setae; end of anal plate small, sharply tipped (Fig. 8C, indicated by arrow). Lyrifissures iad not discernible.

Legs ( Fig. 10 View FIG A-D)

All legs monodactyle. Setal formulae I (1-3-2-4-17) (1-2-2); II (1-4-3-3-15) (1-1-2); III (2-3-1-2-[14- 15]) (1-1-0); IV (1-2-2-2-[12-13]) (0-1-0). In some instances, tarsus III with one additional unpaired seta (provisionally named Ad’), and tarsus IV with a more ventral seta (pv) for this reason the number of setae is between brackets and with an asterisk, indicating variable numbers present.


In some specimens in setae are large relative to notogastral setae (c 1, da, dm, dp, la, lm,lp, h 1, h 2) but in other specimens in and notogastral setae are of equal size.

Very fine dirt found in these specimens is problematic in both SEM and optic microscopy. It hampers observation of detail of microsculptures, lyrifissures and in certain cases, changes the shape of setae (epimeric setae for example).


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


National Museum (Prague)