100(3), 1987, pp. 506-514
Billy B. Boothe, Jr. and Richard W. Heard
Abstract.— Discias vernbergi, n. sp. is described from specimens collected in
coastal waters off the southeastern United States. Discias vernbergi is most
closely related to D. serrifer Rathbun, an eastern Pacific form. The uropods of
both species are characterized by having the outer margin of the exopods armed
with teeth; however, D. vernbergi can be distinguished by: (1) having fewer
lateral teeth (4 to 6) on the uropodal exopod, (2) having at least two more pairs
of terminal spines on the telson, and (3) by lacking a posterior middorsal process
on abdominal somite 2. Discias vernbergi is the third species of the genus known
to occur in the western Atlantic.
In his review of the family Bresiliidae,
Kensley (1983) recognized six valid species
oi Discias Rathbun, 1902. The type species,
D. serrifer Rathbun, 1902, was described
from three adult females collected from the
Galapagos Islands and later reported from
the Juan Fernandez Islands (Balss 1922).
Three other Pacific species are currently rec-
ognized: D. exul Kemp, 1920 (=D. mvitae
Bruce, 1976) from the coasts of India, Ke-
nya, South Africa, and Australia (Kemp
1920; Bruce 1970, 1976; Kensley 1981,
1983); D. musicus noWhuis, 1981, from the
Marianas Islands; and D. brownae Kensley,
1983, from Australia. Discias atlanticus
Gumey, 1939, was originally described from
the western Atlantic (Bermuda), but has
since been reported from East Africa (Hol-
thuis 1951), the Red Sea (Williamson 1 970)
and West Africa (Bruce 1975), as well as
several additional western Atlantic loca-
tions (Monod 1939, Gore and Wilson 1978,
Gore 1981, Kensley 1983). Discias serrati-
rostris Lebour, 1 949, appears to be endemic
to the northwestern Atlantic and is known
from Bermuda, Florida, and Belize (Lebour
1949, Wilson and Gore 1979, Kensley
Specimens of an undescribed species of
Discias collected during the Project Hour-
glass cruises off the West Coast of Florida,
and MARMAP and R/V Eastward cruises
off the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina
were made available to us for study. The
description of this new species is presented
Carapace length (CL) is measured from
the postorbital angle to the posterior most
part of the carapace.
Discias vernbergi, new species
Figs. 1-3
Discias sp.: Kensley 1983:3 (in key).
Material examined. —Holotype, 1 ovig-
erous 2, CL 3.8 mm (USNM 221748),
Hourglass sta D, 65 na mi W of Egmont
Key, Florida, 27°37'N, 83°58'W, 55 m, R/V
Hernan Cortez, 12 Sep 1967. Paratypes,
FLORIDA: 1 ovigerous 9, CL 2.7 mm and
1 (5, CL 2.5 mm (USNM 22 1 749), Hourglass
sta M, 92 na mi W of Sanibel Island light,
Florida, 26°24'N, 83°43'W, 73 m, R/V Her-
nan Cortez, 9 Mar 1967.-1 S CL 2.3 mm
(FSBC I 32280), Hourglass sta E, 78 na mi
W of Egmont Key, 27°37'N, 84°13'W, 73.2
m, R/V Hernan Cortez, 2 Aug 1966.-2
ovigerous $9, CL 3.0 mm and 3.1 mm (FSBC