Articles | Volume 23, issue 2
01 Nov 2004
 | 01 Nov 2004

First occurrence of the genus Zonocypris (Ostracoda) in the Pleistocene of Western Europe (Portugal)

M. C. Cabral, J.-P. Colin, and P. Carbonel

Abstract. The Recent distribution of the freshwater ostracod genus Zonocypris G. W. Müller, 1898 (type-species Zonocypris madagascariensis Müller, 1898) is restricted to Africa, Madagascar and, occasionally, the eastern Mediterranean (Turkey: Zonocypris inconspicua Schafer, 1952; Zonocypris costata (Vávra, 1897); and pers. comm. K. Martens and O. Külköylüoǧlu).

In the Miocene, this genus has been reported from Morocco (Zonocypris maghrebinensis Helmdach, 1988) and in the Plio-Pleistocene, from India (Zonocypris costata, in Bhatia & Khosla, 1967; Singh, 1977), Bulgaria (Zonocypris membranae membranae Livental, in Suzin 1956, and Zonocypris membranae quadricella Stancheva, in Stancheva, 1966), Turkey (Zonocypris membranae, in Tunoglu, 2001), Greece (Paracypretta? sp. Mostafawi, 1988, Zonocypris sp. 6 Mostafawi, 1994b and Zonocypris rippeae Mostafawi, 1994a) and Russia (Zonocypris membranae, in Suzin, 1956; Mandelstam & Schneider, 1963). Species attributed to Zonocypris by Nazik & Gökçen (1992) from the Lower Miocene of Turkey most likely do not belong to the genus Zonocypris but to Virgatocypris Malz & Moayedpour, 1973.

Recent field work in Algarve, southern Portugal (Cabral et al., 2003), allowed the presence of the genus Zonocypris to be recorded, represented by a species closely related to the Recent species Zonocypris costata (Vávra, 1897) in a Pleistocene lacustrine ostracod assemblage at Boliqueime.

Thus, the recognition of Zonocypris cf. costata (Pl. 1) in the Pleistocene of southern Portugal is the first documented occurrence of this genus in post-Cretaceous deposits of Western Europe.