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Status in World Register of Marine Species

Accepted name: Upogebia capensis (Krauss, 1843)

Scientific synonyms and common names

Upogebia capensis (Krauss, 1843)

Gebia major capensis Krauss, 1843, Die Südafrikanischen Crustaceen: 54.
Gebia africana Ortmann, 1894
Upogebia africana Barnard, 1947

Until 1947 usually only a single species of the subgenus Upogebia was recognized in South African waters, the names Gebia major capensis Krauss, 1843, Gebia subspinosa Stimpson, 1860, and Gebia africana Ortmann, 1894, were considered synonyms. Barnard (1947: 380-381; 1950: 519) then showed that two species are involved and used for them the names Upogebia africana (Ortmann, 1894) and U. capensis (Krauss, 1843), considering U. subspinosa (Stimpson, 1860) a synonym of U. capensis. The original description of Gebia major capensis is short and to modern standards very incomplete and does not unequivocally point to be based on one or the other of the South African species; there are arguments for the identity of the type material with both U. subspinosa and U. africana, while furthermore the type material is no longer extant. K. Sakai (1982: 43-46) definitely decided the problem by selecting a neotype for Krauss' species. Unfortunately Sakai chose as the neotype a specimen of U. africana, upsetting thereby the nomenclature for the two species that was rather consistently used since Barnard in 1947 recognized their distinctness. Sakai's action switched the name capensis from one species to the other. As Sakai's decision is perfectly legal, his nomenclature has to be followed. It is good to realize, however, that in most papers since 1948 the present species is indicated as U. africana (Ortmann) and that the name U. capensis during that period was mostly used for U. subspinosa (Stimpson).

FAO Names:
Cape mud shrimp [English]

Local Names:
SOUTH AFRICA: Moddergarnaal, Mud prawn

Cape mud shrimp (Upogebia capensis)