Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 363–405 | Cite as

The ostracod genus Trachyleberis (Crustacea; Ostracoda) and its type species

  • Simone N. Brandão
  • Moriaki Yasuhara
  • Toshiaki Irizuki
  • David J. Horne
Original Paper


The Trachyleberididae is one of the most diverse families of the Ostracoda in Mesozoic to present-day marine environments. Its type genus is Trachyleberis Brady, 1898, first described on the basis of specimens collected alive. Unfortunately the identity and morphological characteristics of the type species of Trachyleberis have long been the subject of confusion resulting from misidentifications and misunderstandings in the literature. We review the taxonomic history of this problem, providing extensive synonymies, new diagnoses, descriptions and illustrations of relevant species. We establish the identity of the type species of Trachyleberis, Cythere scabrocuneata Brady, 1880, by reference to a previously-designated lectotype from the Seto Inland Sea, Japan, noting that a second distinct species, Trachyleberis niitsumai Ishizaki, 1971, is represented in the original syntypic series. We consider that in the interests of nomenclatural and taxonomic stability C. scabrocuneata should be retained as the type species of Trachyleberis, despite the fact that the original description of the genus was based on a species misidentified as C. scabrocuneata and which was subsequently described as a new species, Trachyleberis lytteltonensis Harding and Sylvester-Bradley, 1953. The geographical and stratigraphical distributions of Trachyleberis are reconsidered in the light of our revision. Trachyleberis now comprises 18 known species inhabiting shallow marine environments of the Northwestern Pacific from Japan to the northern coast of the South China Sea off Hong Kong. The revised stratigraphic occurrence of Trachyleberis is from the Eocene to Recent. As many as 400 living and fossil species have been previously assigned to Trachyleberis and they range from the Cretaceous to the Recent; Cretaceous species formerly attributed to Trachyleberis are now re-assigned to other genera. We suggest that Trachyleberis most likely evolved from a Cythereis-like ancestor during the Eocene–Oligocene of Japan, the same area that is the centre of its modern distribution.


Biogeography Type species designation Marine Ostracoda Trachyleberididae Taxonomic revision 



Miranda Lowe (NHM, London) carefully assisted the first author during five visits to the NHM and also kindly provided access to and permission for studying the Challenger and other ostracod specimens housed in the NHM. Dan Gordon (Discovery Museum) kindly facilitated the re-examination of the Brady collection material by DJH. Mark J. Grygier (Lake Biwa Museum) and Philippe Bouchet (MNHM) helped with correct interpretations of articles of the ICZN. Jørgen Olesen and Tom Schiøtte (Natural History Museum of Denmark) loaned the specimens of Trachyleberis lytteltonensis. Alan Lord loaned the specimens from the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt. Gene Hunt and Carlita Sanford assisted depositing specimens in the Smithsonian collection. Stephen Eager (Victoria University of Wellington), Katsura Yamada (Shinshu University), John Neil (La Trobe University), Robin J. Smith (Lake Biwa Museum), Hayato Tanaka (Shizuoka University), Mark Warne (Deakin University) kindly provided valuable information and/or papers on Trachyleberis. The suggestions of the editor Pedro Martínez Arbizú and four anonymous referees greatly improved the present publication. The first author thanks Dietmar Keyser (ZMH, Universität Hamburg), Angelika Brandt (ZMH, Universität Hamburg) and Pedro Martínez Arbizú (DZMB, Senckenberg Institute) for their mentorship. M.Y. thanks Gene Hunt (Smithsonian Institution) for discussion in the initial stage of this project, and Scott Whittaker (Smithsonian Institution) for help in SEM imaging. S.N.B. is/was financially supported by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Encyclopedia of Life and Hansische Universitäts-Stiftung. Additionally, “this research received support from the SYNTHESYS Project which is financed by the European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP7 Integrating Activities Programme.” M.Y. is supported by Seed Funding from the Programme for Basic Research of the University of Hong Kong (project code 201111159140), and was supported by Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship and Smithsonian Marine Science Network Postdoctoral Fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone N. Brandão
    • 1
    • 2
    • 10
  • Moriaki Yasuhara
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Toshiaki Irizuki
    • 7
  • David J. Horne
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches MuseumUniversität HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Senckenberg am MeerDeutsches Zentrum für Marine Biodiversitätsforschung (DZMB)WilhelmshavenGermany
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  4. 4.Swire Institute of Marine ScienceUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  5. 5.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  6. 6.Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA
  7. 7.Department of Geoscience, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and EngineeringShimane UniversityMatsueJapan
  8. 8.School of GeographyQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  9. 9.Department of ZoologyThe Natural History MuseumLondonUK
  10. 10.Laboratorio de Geologia e Geofisica Marinha e Monitoramento Ambiental-GGEMMA, Departamento de Geologia and Programa de pós-Graduação em Geodinâmica e Geofísica, UFRNCampus UniversitárioNatalBrazil

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