cepheus (oribatoidea), especially in the eastern united states

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  • Cepheus (Oribatoidea), Especially in the Eastern United StatesAuthor(s): Arthur Paul JacotSource: Transactions of the American Microscopical Society, Vol. 47, No. 2 (Apr., 1928), pp.262-268+270-271Published by: Wiley on behalf of American Microscopical SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3222178 .Accessed: 28/06/2014 09:58

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    Shantung Christian University

    The Genus. The type of this genus is C. latus Koch 1835, fasc. 3/11 by original designation (see Uebersicht, vol. 3, foreword, last paragraph, where Koch states that at the head of each genus he has given a figured specimen to stand as type). The figure of the Uebersicht is a mere outline but concords with that of his "Deutschlands Cructaceen, Myriapoden und Arachniden" except for the shading. The description is as follows:

    Of average size. Cephaloprothorax broad conic, somewhat broad behind with a somewhat blunt lateral angle, and broad lamellae covering the upper surface and the anterior part; the usual, whitish, clavate pseudostigmatic organ not long and moderately thick. Abdomen somewhat short, broadened behind, bluntly rounded on hind edge, with somewhat projecting lateral edge; the surface above with fine wrinkling (slightly rugose, in latin) and not smooth. The femurs, seen from the side, broad ovate.

    Body dark reddish brown (rusty brown), the cephaloprothorax darker, sides of abdomen and cephaloprothorax under the reddish-brown lamellae dark brown, sometimes also black. Legs rusty-yellow. Under moss in evergreen woods. Near Regensburg not a rarity.

    In the figures, the lamellae join, covering the rostrum, the pseudo- stigmatic organs are recurved, the body is longer than broad, legs I. have major bristles besides other long bristles.

    Nicolet (1855, p. 445) reappoints a type to Cepheus, namely his Cepheus vulgaris, a species of entirely different structure from the original type. Michael blindly follows him, as does also Berlese, and others.

    Further on Nicolet (p. 464), using one of Hermann's specific names (tegeocranus), outlines a new genus in which he places Koch's type of Cepheus though he appoints another species as type. Thus, Cepheus Koch and Cepheus Nicolet are not congeneric but subsequent writers, from this mixing of types, received erroneous impressions and have placed their species of Cepheus under the term Tegeocranus.

    Furthermore, Nicolet on p. 446 describes a new species which he calls Cepheus latus while on page 465 he places Cepheus latus of Koch as synonym under his new name Tegeocranus cepheiformis. This is what the French call "avoir du toupet." Subsequent writers indiscriminatingly follow him. Later (1887) Michael corrects this in part. He recognizes that C. latus Koch is not T. cepheiformis Nicolet and so he reinstates C. latus Koch, but ignores it as the originally designated type of Cepheus Koch.

    Andre (1925) renames C. latus Nicolet as C. permixtus, but he does not go so far as to recognize C. latus Koch as type of the genus Cepheus Koch.


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    As this leaves Cepheus Nicolet and subsequent authors without a proper designation, I propose the term Pseudocepheus with Cepheus vulgaris Nicolet as type. I see no resemblance between Notaspis tegeocranus Her- mann and Cepheus ,ulgaris Nicolet.

    Cepheus, a (presumably negroid) king of Ethiopia, is a masculine noun.


    Tegeocranus cepheiformis Nicolet, (p. 465, pl. 9, fig. 1, not Cepheus latus Nicolet, p. 446), is a true Cepheus. In figure 1, the lamellae are joined at apex, in figs. la and lb, they are narrowly separated. In figure lb they are not obliquely truncate as in the other figures. They far exceed the rostrum which is twice figured without rostral bristles. The interlamellar bristles are at base of cephaloprothorax. The pseudostigmatic organs are rigid, not reflected. The anterior edge of notogaster is figured convex. The abdomen is broader than long, more quadrate than ovate, and punctured and striated. The legs are figured without major bristles or other long bristles.

    Very common in woods of Satory and Breche.

    Tegeocranus latus Michael 1883, (p. 310, pl. 19, figs. 1-9) is a third species of Cepheus Koch having lamellae widely separated so that the rostrum projects, making'rostral bristles visible from above; interlamellar bristles remote from notogaster; pseudostigmatic organs reflexed; abdomen longer than broad, more ovate than quadrate; tibia I with major bristle.

    Fairly common; decayed stumps and fallen branches in thick woods; generally distributed.

    Tegeocranus dentatus Michael 1887, (p. 338, pl. 26 figs. 1-7 and 9) a fourth species, has lamellae antero-laterally emarginate and remote; interlamellar bristles distant; pseudostigmatic organs recurved; 14 medium long, circumnotogastral bristles; tibia I with major bristles.

    Fairly common; decayed stumps and fallen branches with T. latus Michael; generally distributed.

    Tegeocranus cepheiformis Michael 1887, (p. 340, pl. 25, figs. 1-7) not Nicolet, has lamellae separated by a knife cut; interlamellar bristles near together but remote from notogaster; pseudostigmatic organs re- curved; tibiae I with major bristle; notogaster anteriorly but slightly convex, outer corners prominently anteriorly produced, without bristles; posterior margin with 6 very short, stiff bristles.

    New Forest, Gomshall (Surrey), near Stone (Staffordshire); fir trees (Picea), fallen needles, on bark, particularly fallen.

    Thus quite different from Nicolet's. The abdomen seems to have coarser corrugations and the vertex is smooth. It may be known as Cepheus michaeli nom. nov.


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    Tegeocranus cepheiformis Berlese 1886, (fasc. 33/7 and 1890, fasc. 57/5) is still different and seems composite. Careful work will have to be done on the Italian species before they can be intelligently discussed.

    Tegeocranus hericius Michael 1887, (p. 346, pl. 25, figs. 8-13), may well be placed in a different subgenus but the great similarity of the nymphs to the nymphs of the other species of this group, is sufficient grounds to retain it within the genus. Due to its more primitive characters, namely, lesser development of lamellae, undifferentiated notogastral sculpture, large number of bristles (a nymphal character) and entire lack of develop- ment of antero-lateral corners of notogaster, I propose for it the term:

    PROTOCEPHEUS subgen. nov.

    Type: Tegeocranus hericius Michael 1887, (p. 346, pl. 25, figs. 8-13). It should be noted that although the adult of this species is less special-

    ized than those of the genus proper, the nymph (fig. 9) is very similar to that of T. dentatus and T. latus Michael (see his plate 26, figs. 8, 9, 10). The subgeneric characters are listed above.


    Cepheus (Oribatodes) mirabilis (Banks) 1895a, p. 10, differs from all other species in having 18 long, stout, conspicuous, barbed bristles on notogaster (besides four short ones on posterioi rim). This character is sufficient to segregate the species in the subgenus of which it is monotypic. Like the other species of the genus, this one has monohamate ungues. It has been thrice named, described and figured as follows:

    Sea Cliff, Long Id., N. Y.; in rotten debris under loose bark of dead trees; five specimens (one with six eggs) taken at different times. Described as Oribatodes mirabilis.

    Blue Hill, Mass.; Oct. 1; one specimen; described as Cepheus lamellatus Banks 1906b, p. 467, pl. 15, fig. 14.

    Washington, D. C.; from moss; one specimen; described as Tegeocranus longisetus Berlese 1910, p. 228, pl. 21, fig. 82.

    Also collected by Jacot at: Monroe, Conn.; upland swamp, clump of Carex stricta Lam.; twenty

    specimens taken Aug. 5-10; slides nos. 2511-2514. Same but from nearby clump of sphagnum moss; Aug. 18; twenty-seven specimens under nos. 2521n2 and 2522nl. Some of these specimens contain four to six eggs.

    CEPHEUS CORAE sp. nov.

    Diagnosis: Lamellae separated by a very narrow cleft; interlamellar hairs remote from notogaster and from lamellae; pseudostigmatic organs recurved; notogaster coarsely reticulate; antero-lateral


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