Scypholanceola Woltereck, 1905

Zeidler, Wolfgang, 2009, A review of the hyperiidean amphipod superfamily Lanceoloidea Bowman & Gruner, 1973 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Hyperiidea), Zootaxa 2000, pp. 1-117 : 59

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Scypholanceola Woltereck, 1905


Genus Scypholanceola Woltereck, 1905

Scypholanceola Woltereck, 1905: 414–416 . Woltereck 1909: 161–167; 1927: 65. Pirlot 1929: 45. Bowman & Gruner 1973: 22–23. Vinogradov et al. 1982: 77. Vinogradov 1999: 1171.

Type species. Scypholanceola vanhoeffeni Woltereck, 1909 . Woltereck (1905) established this genus on seven specimens, some mature (up to 61 mm) and some juvenile (around 10 mm), collected by the Valdivia and Gauss (Deutsche Südpolar-Expedition 1901–1903) from the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Antarctic. However, he did not describe any new species or give any more details for specimens examined except that the largest female was collected by the Valdivia from the “Guineastrom”, which is the tropical North Atlantic. Later (1909) he used this material to establish two species, S. chuni and S. vanhoeffeni . He also described a third species, S. agassizi , from the Albatross collections. In his key to the species Woltereck (1909) lists the following material for each species.

S. chuni – mature female from the equatorial North Atlantic, Valdivia Stn. 50. This seems to be the large female referred to by Woltereck (1905).

S. vanhoeffeni mature male from Antarctica collected by Gauss, 10.III.1903 and a mature female from the Indian Ocean, Valdivia Stn. 239 .

S. agassizi – juvenile male (around 17 mm) from the South-east Pacific, off Peru, Albatross Stn. 4673.

Clearly the material referred to as S. chuni and S. vanhoeffeni was part of that used to establish the genus. But, because no genotype was designated, and there is no particular order to how Woltereck (1909) introduced his new species, either S. chuni or S. vanhoeffeni could be regarded the genotype. Past authors have assumed that S. vanhoeffeni is the genotype because Barnard (1932), later supported by Pirlot (1939), concluded that S. chuni is synonymous with S. vanhoeffeni . The latter name was used for this species until Thurston (1973) discovered the true identity of Lanceola aestiva Stebbing, 1888 and established it as the senior synonym. Despite the above confusion and for the sake of nomenclatural stability, S. vanhoeffeni Woltereck, 1909 should continue to be regarded the genotype, especially since it is synonymous with S. chuni and is the name used for this species in the literature until 1973.

The ZMB has a male specimen ( ZMB 21332 View Materials ) collected by the Gauss from near the Davis Sea [64°29’S 85°21’E], from a vertical haul to 3000 m, 10 Mar. 1903. This data corresponds with the male specimen Woltereck (1909) lists in his key under S. vanhoeffeni and the specimen is consequently regarded a syntype GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis. Very similar to Lanceola , especially L. loveni except for the eye structure. Body length up to 60 mm. Cuticle very thin, translucent. Pereon relatively more inflated than in some Lanceola species. Eyes made up of two cup-shaped reflector organs on either side of head.

Sexual dimorphism. As in Lanceola .

Remarks. This genus is very close to Lanceola and except for the eye structure is readily confused with L. loveni ( Thurston 1973) . Thus, when dealing with Lanceola species it is important to first examine the eyes. The eyes of Scypholanceola are unlike any other in the suborder, but eyes of similar structure are known in some other deep-water crustaceans. According to Woltereck (1909), they reflect the light falling on them from the luminous organs of other animals and flash in the dark, attracting thereby prey or confusing predators.

Four nominal species of Scypholanceola have been described; S. aestiva (= S. vanhoeffeni ), S. chuni , S. agassizi and S. richardi Chevreux, 1920 . Woltereck (1909) distinguished the first three by the different shape of the eyecups and the width of the eye strip between the cups. These differences are well within the normal variation of S. aestiva and the three should be considered synonyms. However, according to Vinogradov et al. (1982), S. agassizi possesses several constant characters that differentiate it from S. aestiva , although these characters are minor and only reliably determined in large, undamaged specimens. I have been unable to distinguish S. agassizi amongst the material examined and I have not had access to the Russian material but accept the validity of this species based on the observations of Vinogradov et al. (1982). As for S. richardi the differences from S. aestiva are also minor and within the normal variation of S. aestiva and it is considered a synonym. Thus, the genus currently consists of two species.


Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Zoological Collections)












Scypholanceola Woltereck, 1905

Zeidler, Wolfgang 2009


Vinogradov, G. M. 1999: 1171
Vinogradov, M. E. & Volkov, A. F. & Semenova, T. N. 1982: 77
Bowman, T. E. & Gruner, H. - E. 1973: 22
Pirlot, J. M. 1929: 45
Woltereck, R. 1927: 65
Woltereck, R. 1909: 161
Woltereck, R. 1905: 416