Articles | Volume 24, issue 2
01 Oct 2005
 | 01 Oct 2005

First occurrence of the genus Sclerocypris Sars, 1924 (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 Sclerocypris Sars, 1924 (type species Sclerocypris clavularis Sars, 1924; synonyms Bharatcypris Battish, 1978 and Candonopsis Sars, 1894 pro parte), subfamily Megalocypridinae Rome, 1965, is restricted to Africa and India (Martens, 1986; Martens & Coomans, 1990).

Recovery of fossils of Sclerocypris are not frequent and are restricted to Plio-Quaternary deposits of Kenya, with Sclerocypris clavularis Sars, 1924 from Lakes Turkana and Bogoria (Carbonel & Peypouquet, 1979; Carbonel et al., 1983, 1987; Cohen et al., 1983) and Sclerocypris jenkinae Klie, 1933 from Lakes Elmenteita and Naivasha (Lindroth, 1953; Cohen & Nielsen, 1986) and the Pliocene basal member of the Omo Series, Lake Turkana (Peypouquet et al., 1979). Sclerocypris bicornis (G. W. Müller, 1900) has been recorded (identified as Chlamydotheca sp.) in the Pleistocene of Egypt (Boukhari & Guernet, 1985).

Recent field work in Algarve, southern Portugal (Cabral et al., 2003, 2004, 2005), recorded the presence of Sclerocypris. It was represented by numerous juvenile specimens of a species related closely to the Recent species Sclerocypris bicornis in a probable Pleistocene lacustrine ostracod assemblage at Bolqueime associated with other Cypididae, Candonidae, Darwinulidae, Limnocytheridae and Cypridopsidae. The instars are characterized by the presence of long spines on the margins, as is common in many species of this genus (Martens, 1986, 1991), such as Sclerocypris tuberculata (Methuen, 1910), Sclerocypris venusta (Vavra, 1897) [illustrated in Martens, 1986] and Sclerocypris clavularis Sars, 1924 (Pl. 1, fig. 2). They also possess three large conical tubercles not present on adults, an important . . .