Hephthopelta lugubris Alcock, 1899

Ng, Peter K. L. & Castro, Peter, 2016, Revision of the family Chasmocarcinidae Serène, 1964 (Crustacea, Brachyura, Goneplacoidea), Zootaxa 4209 (1), pp. 1-182: 52-53

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Hephthopelta lugubris Alcock, 1899


Hephthopelta lugubris Alcock, 1899 

( Figs. 10View FIGURE 10 A ‒H; 24A; 31A, B; 40E, F; 42G; 52A; 59A, B; 71; 87A; 91A)

Hephthopelta lugubris Alcock, 1899: 77  , pl. 4, figs. 2, 2a, 2b [type localilty: Andaman Sea]; 1900: 327 [Andaman Sea].— Tesch 1918: 233 [in key].— Serène 1964a: 240 [in list], 241, 242 [in key]; 1968: 92 [in list].—Ng et al. 2008: 76 [in list].? Hephthopelta  sp.— Clavier et al. 1996: 20, 40 [ Fiji].

Type material (not examined). Holotype: female (8.0 × 8.0 mm), Andaman Sea, 897 m (depository unknown, possibly in the Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta; see Alcock 1899: 77).

Material examined. Western Australia. RV Southern Surveyor: 1 male (7.9 × 8.3 mm) ( NMV J61081View Materials) [“ Chasmocarcinops, Det. A. McCallum 2009  ”], Leveque L 273 transect, 14° 33°04”S, 121°15’22”E to 14°33’35”S, 121°16’34”E, 1021‒1023 m, D.J. Bray coll., 03.07.2007GoogleMaps  ; 1 male (6.8 × 7.3 mm), 1 ovigerous female (6.3 × 6.6 mm) (NMV J61083) [“ Chasmocarcinops, Det. A. McCallum 2009  ”], Mermaid L24 transect, 16°38’04”S,119°09’13”E to 16°38’46”S,119°08’02”E, 987‒990 m, M.F. Gomon coll., 17.06.2007.

Papua New Guinea. BIOPAPUA: 1 female (8.9 × 9.6 mm) ( ZRC 2015.261View Materials)  , 1 female (9.8 × 10.9 mm) (MNHN-IU- 2011-2657), Open Bay , stn CP3667, 04°40’S, 151°34’E, 670–921 mGoogleMaps  , 23.09.2010; 1 female (7.1 × 7.7 mm) (MNHN-IU- 2011-2522), off Mambare Bay , stn CP3729, 07°52’S, 148°03’E, 575–655 m, 0 8.10.2010GoogleMaps  .

Solomon Islands. SALOMONBOA 3: 1 male (10.1 × 11.7 mm), 1 ovigerous female (8.6 × 9.3 mm) (ZRC 2015.262), 1 male (8.3 × 9.1 mm) (MNHN-IU-2013-9040), Savo, stn CP2777, 09°12’S, 160°55’E, 706–722 m, 12.09.2007.—SALOMON 1: 1 male (7.3 × 7.8 mm) (MNHN-IU-2013-9037), stn CP1750, 09°16’S, 159°55’E, 693–696 m, 25.09.2001.

New Caledonia. HALIPRO 1: 1 female (MNHN-IU-2013-9453), eastern coast, stn CP867, 21°26.155’S, 166°18.174’E, 720–950 m, 22.03.1994.GoogleMaps 

Fiji. MUSORSTOM 10: 1 male (6.3 × 6.5 mm) (MNHN-IU-2013-9028), Viti Levu, stn DW1356, 17°50.3’S, 178°48.0’E, 203–208 m, 12.08.1998GoogleMaps  ; 1 female (MNHN-IU-2013-9058), Bligh Water , Fiji, stn CP1332, 16°56.2’S, 178°7.9’E, 640–687 m, 0 8.08.1998.GoogleMaps 

Diagnosis. Carapace ( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10 A, D –H) subtrapezoidal, globose, tomentose, 1.0‒1.1 wider than long; front bilobed, with shallow to well-defined median cleft; anterolateral margins arcuate, minutely granular, entire (small tubercle in some individuals). Median lobe of posterior margin of epistome ( Fig. 24View FIGURE 24 A) broad, rectangular, with deep median fissure, semicircular lateral margins. Eye peduncle ( Fig. 24View FIGURE 24 A) filling orbit, short, immobile; cornea reduced, pigmented. Third maxillipeds ( Fig. 31View FIGURE 31 A, B) fill buccal cavern when closed; merus subquadrate, outer margin nearly straight, anteriorly flattened, anteroexternal angle rounded; ischium slightly elongated, slightly longer than merus. Chelipeds ( Figs. 10View FIGURE 10 D –H; 40E, F) subequal in length, slightly dissimilar in female, heteromorphic in males; fingers of minor  chela ( Fig. 40View FIGURE 40 F) flattened laterally, broad throughout most of length, shear-like, cutting margins with low, broad teeth, largest most proximal on upper cutting margin in both sexes. Ventral surface of cheliped merus with 3 long, sharp teeth (sometimes additional small teeth or large tubercles) on outer margin in both sexes ( Fig. 42View FIGURE 42 G), inner margin unarmed. Inner margin of carpi with long distal tooth ( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10 D –H). Ambulatory legs ( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10 A, D –H) proportionally long, slender. Meri of P2, P3 with short ventral teeth ( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10 A), slightly larger in males; meri of other ambulatory legs with microscopic granules, unarmed. P5 dactylus straight (e.g., Fig. 10View FIGURE 10 D), P5 merus 0.8 cl. Fused thoracic sternites 1, 2 ( Fig. 52View FIGURE 52 A) transversely narrow, high; fused thoracic sternites 3, 4 ( Figs. 52View FIGURE 52 A; 91A) transversely narrow. Male pleon ( Figs. 52View FIGURE 52 A; 59A) with lateral margins of somite 6 slightly convex, margin of somite 3 slightly convex although fused with somites 4, 5, margin of fused somites 4, 5 nearly straight; postero-lateral regions prominently swollen; telson proportionally short. Sternopleonal cavity ( Fig. 52View FIGURE 52 A) deep, press-button for pleonal holding as small, short tubercle posterior to thoracic sternal suture 4/5 near edge of sterno-pleonal cavity. Male thoracic sternite 8 distinctly short, quadrate; “supplementary plate” short, rectangular; structures tightly appressed with most of penis concealed (e.g., Fig. 59View FIGURE 59 A, B). G1 ( Fig. 71View FIGURE 71 A –D, F –L) stout, distal half cylindrical except for tapering tip, distal surface covered with short spinules. G2 ( Fig. 71View FIGURE 71 E, M) longer than G1, distal segment slender, evenly proportioned, nearly straight, almost as long as basal segment. Somites of female pleon ( Fig. 87View FIGURE 87 A) with convex lateral margins; telson proportionally short, narrow. Sterno-pleonal cavity of female ( Fig. 91View FIGURE 91 A) deep, vulvae widely separated on outer margins of cavity close to suture 5/6.

Remarks. Alcock described the species based on a single female without chelipeds obtained from the Andaman Sea. The female holotype was described as “light yellow, eyes black” (Alcock 1899: 77). The figure shows a slightly bilobed rostrum, quadrate carapace, and proportionally short legs. Material from Western Australia can be confidently assigned to Alcock’s species by having a similar carapace shape and physiognomy, bilobed front (although it varies slightly, it is never straight), and ambulatory legs that are relatively short. There are some differences between the examined specimens and Alcock’s figure (Alcock 1899: 77, pl. 4, figs. 2, 2a, 2b): the outer anterior margin of the third maxilliped merus is somewhat rounded in the figure but more subangular in all specimens examined ( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10 C versus Fig. 31View FIGURE 31 A, B) but this may be because Alcock’s figure was most probably drawn in situ. There is no suture visible between the male thoracic sternites 2 and 3 shown in Alcock’s figure (Alcock 1899: pl. 4, fig. 2a), but this is almost certainly an error as all specimens we have examined (as well as allied genera) possess a suture. There is also a small, obtuse tubercle (or remains of it) on each anterolateral margin of the carapace of some individuals of both sexes (e.g., Fig. 10View FIGURE 10 D, E), which is not shown in Alcock’s figure (Alcock 1899: pl. 4, figs. 2, 2b) or indicated in his brief description, but this is easily attributed to individual variation. Tesch (1918: 233) and Serène (1964a: 242) mention in their respective keys that the merus of P2 and P3 is spinous but there is no evidence that they examined Alcock’s material, and probably followed his account (see also Alcock 1900).

A reference to Hephthopelta  sp. from Fiji ( Clavier et al. 1996: 20, 40) could be referable to H. lugubris  .

Distribution. Indian (Andaman Sea, Western Australia) and western Pacific ( Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia; questionably from Fiji) oceans. Depth: 203‒1023 m.


Museum Victoria


Zoological Reference Collection, National University of Singapore














Hephthopelta lugubris Alcock, 1899

Ng, Peter K. L. & Castro, Peter 2016

Hephthopelta lugubris

Alcock 1899: 77