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Tuatara: Volume 2, Issue 3, September 1949

Corrections and Additions for the Guides to the Brachyura

page 130

Corrections and Additions for the Guides to the Brachyura

As stated in the “Guide to the Brachyrhynchous Crabs” the systematic standing of many species of our Brachyura is uncertain. The publication of the “guides” has revived interest in the group brought additional specimens, information and literature to hand so that already corrections can be made which promise systematic stability for some of our species. The following changes should be noted in their proper place in the “guides”:

F. Portunidae. Portunus borradailei (p.31) is now being accepted as a member of the genus Liocarcinus and should be named Liocarcinus borradailei.

F. Cancridae. Balss has shown that Heterozius rotundifrons (p.32) is not essentially a member of this family, but is more properly included in the Xanthidae. Mr. J. Morton has kindly supplied specimens from Auckland which prove to be Pilumnopeus serratifrons on comparison with named specimens sent me from the Australian Museum through the courtesy of Mr. F. McNeill. This is the first positive record since 1876. P. serratifrons has the palate ridged, the fronto-orbital border just more than half the greatest width of the carapace and so fits in the key alongside O. truncatus (p.32) from which it is distinct in having three well-developed sharp-edged anterolateral lobes, a sharp spine on the wrist, and a strong curved sharp-edged tooth on the dorsal margin of the land. The fingers are heavy and black.

F. Grapsidae. Dr. Isabella Gordon of the British Museum has written me that there can be no certainty of the correct application of the name Plagusia chabrus and this name is lapsing. Our Plagusia (p.32) is better recognised now as P. capensis. Dr. Gordon has kindly re-examined for me material of the genera Brachynotus and Hemigrapsus, supports Rathbun in maintaining the distinctness of the genera, and has demonstrated to me what our Hemigrapsus sexdentatus (p.34) cannot by priority retain its specific name and must now be known as H. edwardsii as proposed by Hilgendorf.

F. Hymenosomidae. I am indebted further to Dr. Gordon for comparing specimens of Halicarcinus with material in the British Museum. It is now clear that the key must be corrected since the H. ovatus (p.68) in the key is actually H. planatus, and as I had suspected, the species listed as H. planatus in the key is a new species for which I propose the name of H. innominata and which I will describe in full elsewhere. Mr. Forster of the Canterbury Museum informs me that the types of Chilton's H. marmoratus are no longer available. The species referred to as 15 (Fig. 45) in the key (p.67) agrees well with Tesch's description of H. edwardsi and in my experience is characterised by the heavily furred hand of the male. Tesch has synonymised E. quoyi (p.67) with H. pubescens but without reference to actual material.