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Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia

versão impressa ISSN 0031-1049versão On-line ISSN 1807-0205

Pap. Avulsos Zool. (São Paulo) vol.49 no.40 São Paulo  2009 

On the type material of Scyllarides deceptor Holthuis, 1963 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Scyllaridae)



Marcos Tavares; William Santana; Allysson Pinheiro

Laboratório de Carcinologia, Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 42.494, 04218-970, São Paulo, SP, Brasil. E-mails:;;




The only specimen listed in the original description of Scyllarides deceptor Holthuis, 1963 is the holotype from São Paulo, Brazil, presently housed in the Leiden Museum. From the original description, however, it is clear that the new species was actually based on a number of additional specimens. Six of them exist in the collections of the Museum of Zoology in São Paulo, and are shown herein to be paratypes of S. deceptor. Scyllarides deceptor and S. brasiliensis Rathbun, 1906, continue to be confounded with one another, in consequence of their very similar color patterns and locally sympatric distributions. As many as 251,786 tons of slipper lobsters have been landed in Santa Catarina between 2000 and 2007. These catches have been attributed to S. deceptor alone and did not take into consideration the existence of a second species in the area, S. brasiliensis. Correct recognition of slipper-lobster species will be critical to properly evaluate the lobster stocks in southeastern Brazil. An opportunity is taken herein to elaborate on the taxonomy of S. deceptor and S. brasiliensis.

Keywords: Slipper lobsters; Scyllarides deceptor; Scyllarides brasiliensis; Taxonomy; Fishery; Sympatry.




The hooded slipper lobster Scyllarides deceptor Holthuis, 1963 is an endemic of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. S. deceptor preferably inhabits sandy bottoms between 30 and 300 meters depth, and is also found on rocky shores, hidden in crevices (Oliveira et al., 2008 and references therein). Scyllarides deceptor was first mentioned from the southwestern Atlantic Ocean by Ramos (1951: 126) as S. brasiliensis Rathbun, 1906. Later on, one male of S. deceptor was recorded from Argentina by Balech (1962), who likewise attributed the Argentinean specimen to S. brasiliensis. Ramos (1951) obtained from Kossako Kikuchi 13 specimens from the north coast of São Paulo, Brazil, trawled by the fishing boat 'Dois Irmãos'. They are as follows: 2 males and 3 females from Ubatuba, and 4 males and 4 females from nearby Ilha Vitória, north of Ilha de São Sebastião. A comparison of an extensive material from São Paulo, including specimens seen by Ramos (1951) with the type material of S. brasiliensis Rathbun, 1906, from northeastern Brazil (Bahia) led Holthuis (1963: 57) to consider the southeastern Brazilian specimens as a new species, S. deceptor Holthuis, 1963. Holthuis (1963) only listed the holotype from Ubatuba (female RMNH D. 15451, cl 86 mm), but left it clear that his new species was based on several individuals, including specimens seen and figured by Ramos (1951: 127, pl. 1-2). Indeed, Fransen et al. (1997: 64) listed eight paratypes of S. deceptor in the Leiden Museum, all of them from São Paulo. In the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) in Washington there is one male of S. deceptor labeled "paratype" (USNM 105810) by L. B. Holthuis himself and sent to the Washington museum on 11 October 1960. Part of Ramos' (1951: 127) material existis in the collections of the Museum of Zoology of the University of São Paulo and are herein shown to be paratypes of S. deceptor Holthuis, 1963 as well.

As a result of their very similar color pattern and locally sympatric distribution, Scyllarides brasiliensis Rathbun, 1906 and S. deceptor Holthuis, 1963, continue to be confounded with each other. An opportunity is taken herein to elaborate on the taxonomy of both species.

Descriptive terminology follows that used by Holthuis (1991). Carapace length (cl) was taken from the base of the rostrum to the posterior margin of the carapace. Abbreviations used includes: IOUSP (Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo); MZUSP (Museum of Zoology of the University of São Paulo); RMNH (National Museum of Natural History, Leiden); USNM (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.); P1, first pereiopod.



Scyllarides deceptor Holthuis, 1963 (Figures 1A, 2, 3C-D, 4b)





Scyllarides brasiliensis - Ramos, 1951: 125, pl. 1-2; Balech, 1962: 82 [not Scyllarides brasiliensis Rathbun, 1906].

Scyllarides deceptor Holthuis, 1963: 57.

Scyllarides deceptor - Boschi, 1973: 15, fig. 1; 1979: 137; Burukovsky, 1983: 145; Coelho & Ramos-Porto, 1983/85: 60; 1998: 388; Williams, 1986: 27, fig. 67; Holthuis, 1991: 186, fig. 353; Boschi et al. 1992: 41, fig. 37; Fransen et al., 1997: 64; Spivak, 1997: 73; D'Incao, 1999: 341, fig. 4A; Melo, 1999: 450, fig. 304; Spanier & Lavalli, 2006: 464: fig. 14.1; Santana et al., 2007: 1; Oliveira et al., 2008: 1433-1440.

Type material: Brazil, São Paulo, São Sebastião, Ilha Vitória, shrimp boat "Dois Irmãos", K. Kikuchi coll., 16.iv.1951: 1 female paratype (MZUSP 4803); 1 male paratype (MZUSP 7083); 1 female paratype (MZUSP 7085); 1 male paratype (MZUSP 7086); 1 female paratype (MZUSP 7089); 1 male paratype (MZUSP 7090). São Paulo, Santos, Farol da Moela, vessel "Emilia" 21.ix.1959: 1 male paratype (USNM 105810).

Comparative Material

Scyllarides brasiliensis - Brazil, Bahia, R/V "Albatross" 21.x.1887: female holotype (USNM 21612). Espírito Santo, Guarapari, 21º36'40.0"S40º21'0.0"W, vessel "Mona Lisa", 24.ix.2008, 27 m: 1 ovigerous female (MZUSP 15548). Santa Catarina, Ilha do Arvoredo, Baía do Farol, G. de Oliveira and P.R.K Bertuol coll., 19.x.2003: 1 female (MZUSP 16260).

Scyllarides deceptor - Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Projeto Sol, station 1483, 23º00'S-42º10'W, 10.iii.1971, 64 m: 2 males (MZUSP 7070); 2 males (MZUSP 7073). Rio de Janeiro, Farol de São Tomé, off Barra do Furado, vessel "Vô Vinagre", 21.ix.2008, 33-40 m: 1 ovigerous female (MZUSP 15549). Rio de Janeiro, Guaratuba, C. Magenta coll., vii.1999, 50-70 m: 4 males (MZUSP 13017). São Paulo, Litoral Norte, Ubatuba, Projeto Biota/Fapesp, station SnC 34, 23º26'14"S-44º50'39"W, A. Fransozo coll., v.2001, 34.2 m: 1 male (MZUSP 14091). São Paulo, Litoral Norte, Ubatuba, Projeto Biota/Fapesp, station SnC 1, 23º32'24"S-44º47'19"W, A. Fransozo coll., ii.2001, 43.9 m: 3 males (MZUSP 14088). São Paulo, Ubatuba, Praia Grande, M.A. Pinheiro coll., viii.1996/vii.1997: 1 juvenile (MZUSP 13093). Projeto Sol, station 1469, 23º44'S44º36'W, 07.iii.1971, 60 m: 1 male (MZUSP 7077). São Paulo, Litoral Norte, Caraguatatuba, Projeto Biota/Fapesp, station SnC 16-17, between 23º44'04"S and 23º47'34"S and between 45º01'15"W and 45º07'50"W, A. Fransozo coll., iv.2001, 36-39 m: 2 juveniles (MZUSP 14089). São Paulo, Litoral Norte, São Sebastião, Projeto Biota/Fapesp, station SnC 21, 23º58'10"S45º29'44"W, A. Fransozo coll., iv.2001, 45.6 m: 1 female and 1 juvenile (MZUSP 14090). São Paulo, Ilha Vitória, 08.x.1987: 1 juvenile (MZUSP 9420). São Paulo, Ilha Alcatrazes, Instituto de Pesca coll., viii.1965: 1 male (MZUSP 7071). São Paulo, Ilha Alcatrazes, Instituto de Pesca coll., 2 males (MZUSP 2054). São Paulo, Santos, Barra de Santos, Nupec coll., 1999, 50-70 m: 2 males (MZUSP 13059). São Paulo, Santos: 1 male (MZUSP 575). Projeto Sol, station 781, 25º20'S-47º05'W, 14.xii.1969, 59-60 m: 1 female (MZUSP 7078). Rio Grande do Sul, Projeto GEDIP, station 1863, 31º15'S50º27'W, 07.viii.1972, sand and mud, 85 m: 1 male (MZUSP 7093). Projeto GEDIP, station 452, 32º07'S-51º04'W, 08.xii.1968, 68 m: 1 male (MZUSP 7074). Projeto GEDIP, R/ V"Prof. W. Besnard", station 1477: 1 male (MZUSP 8657). Projeto GEDIP, R/V "Prof. W. Besnard", station 1145, 08.viii.1970: 3 males, 1 female (MZUSP 8658). Rio Grande do Sul, Torres, São Tomé, station 2222, 24.ii.1975, 19-20 m: 1 male and 1 female (MZUSP 7084). Southeast coast of Brazil, 1975: 1 male (MZUSP 7079). Southeast coast of Brazil, vi.1976: 1 male (MZUSP 7082). Locality unknown: 1 male (MZUSP 7076); 1 female (MZUSP 7164); 1 male (MZUSP 7087).

Distribution: Southwestern Atlantic from Rio de Janeiro to the Buenos Aires Province (approximately between 23.5ºS to 39ºS). The record from Pernambuco (Oliveira et al., 2008: 1433) is most certainly mistaken.

Remarks: Francisco de Paula Andrade Ramos was a former researcher at the IOUSP, who conducted many field trips along the northern coast of São Paulo State. There the IOUSP constructed a marine laboratory facility in Ubatuba in 1955 (Paiva, 1996: 83-84). Parts of the collections assembled by Ramos were later transferred from the IOUSP to the MZUSP. Among the transferred collections were 3 males and 3 females of S. deceptor Holthuis, 1963 (labeled as S. brasiliensis), including the female MZUSP 4803 depicted by Ramos (1951: pl. 1-2) and mentioned by Holthuis (1963: 57): "This species [Scyllarides deceptor new species] was described and figured by Andrade Ramos (1951, p. 125, pl. 1)." The evidence that the female depicted by Ramos and the female MZUSP 4803 are the same is as follows: (i) both the female figured by Ramos (1951: pl. 1-2) and the female MZUSP 4803 were caught by the fishing boat "Dois Irmãos" at Ilha Vitória, northern coast of São Paulo, and donated to Ramos by Kossako Kikuchi (Ramos, 1951: 126-127). Ramos (1951) did not mention the date of collection of his material. According to the labels in the jars, all six specimens from Ilha Vitória were collected on April 16, 1951; (ii) fluke characteristics in the form of the left exopod and both endopods of the uropods outline in the female depicted by Ramos (1951: pl. 2) and the female MZUSP 4803 perfectly match one another (Figs. 1, 2); (iii) according to Ramos (1951: 127-128), the largest female obtained by him was 270 mm long, measured from the proximal end of the distal antennular peduncle to the posterior margin of telson, the same as the female MZUSP 4803. From the extremely poor scale bar provided by Ramos we infer that the female figured by him was about 270 mm long (see Ramos, 1951: pl. 1-2). Because the female MZUSP 4803 and the female depicted by Ramos (1951: pl. 1-2) and mentioned by Holthuis (1963: 57) are the same, and according to the ICZN (2005: Art., the female MZUSP 4803 is regarded herein as a paratype of S. deceptor Holthuis, 1963.

Besides the female MZUSP 4803, three males and two additional females of S. deceptor in the MZUSP holdings are considered herein to be from Ramos' (1951) collection, and are therefore treated as paratypes of S. deceptor Holthuis, 1963 as well. As in Ramos (1951: 127), all the above five specimens are labeled "Ilha Vitória, fishing boat 'Dois Irmãos', north of Ilha de São Sebastião, north coast of São Paulo, Kossako Kikuchi coll." Ramos (1951: 128, table not numbered) provided body measurements for all his specimens, but except for the total length of the body, he did not detail how the measurements were taken. Although it is difficult to accurately compare our measurements and his, body measurements of the three males and the two additional females in the MZUSP holdings are very close to Ramos' specimens 6 to 11 (Table 1).

Until recently, S. deceptor was regarded as being too rare to be of economic interest (Holthuis, 1991: 186). Nevertheless, important fishing grounds have recently been discovered in Santa Catarina (28ºS) and Rio Grande do Sul (29ºS) (Perez et al., 2003). There is no special fishery devoted to this species, and in southeastern Brazil S. deceptor is caught during shrimp trawling operations between 40 and 70 meters deep (Perez et al., 2001). Still, between 2000 and 2007 as much as 251,786 tons has been landed in Santa Catarina (GEP/CTTMAR/UNIVALI, 2009). These catches were attributed to S. deceptor alone and did not take into consideration the existence of a second species in the area, S. brasiliensis, which can occur as south as Santa Catarina (Dall'Occo, 2005) (see also material examined). Perez et al. (2001: 33) stressed that S. deceptor is a growing resource in southeastern Brazil, and recommended evaluation of its stocks. Correct recognition of slipper-lobster species will be critical to properly evaluate the slipper-lobster stocks in southeastern Brazil.

Scyllarides deceptor and S. brasiliensis continue to be confounded with one another in consequence of their very similar color patterns and locally sympatric distributions. Indeed, both species share two very distinct, sharply defined, lateral spots on the dorsal surface of the first abdominal somite (Figs. 3A, C). S. brasiliensis has been recorded as far south as Santa Catarina (Dall'Occo, 2005) (see also Material Examined). Holthuis (1963) showed that S. deceptor and S. brasiliensis can be distinguished from each other by: (i) the shape of the distal part of the pleural posterior margin of the second abdominal somite, which is distinctly concave in S. deceptor and is evenly convex in S. brasiliensis (see Holthuis, 1991: figs. 333, 336), and (ii) the carpus of P1, which possesses a very shallow longitudinal groove and is devoid of adjacent ridges in S. deceptor, and has a deep longitudinal groove flanked by two distinct ridges in S. brasiliensis (Figs. 4 A-B). Actually in some specimens of S. deceptor, the groove of the carpus of P1 is almost imperceptible. Rathbun (1906) referred to S. brasiliensis as "very hairy" (Fig. 1B). Indeed, the most striking characteristic of S. brasiliensis is its body and appendages covered with a distinct velvet, which is absent in S. deceptor. Additionally, S. deceptor and S. brasiliensis differ from each other by S. deceptor having (i) a deeper cervical incision (much shallower in S. brasiliensis, figs. 3A-B); (ii) the tubercles on the dorsal surface of both the carapace and the abdomen placed close together (distinctly more spaced in S. brasiliensis, figs 3A-D); and (iii) both pre-gastric and gastric teeth strong (markedly weaker in S. brasiliensis, figs. 3 A-B).



We are sincerely grateful to Afonso Jório (Mar a Mar) for entrusting specimens of Scyllarides for study, and to Rafael Lemaitre (NMNH) for making the material from his institution available for study and for providing working space. Karen Reed (NMNH) was instrumental in locating specimens and literature. MT thanks both CNPq (302065/2007-5) and Petrobras (4600224970) for supporting studies on the systematics of decapod crustaceans.



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Recebido em: 06.08.2009
Aceito em: 30.10.2009
Impresso em: 18.12.2009

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