Scielo RSS <![CDATA[African Natural History]]> vol. 4 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>New species of mysids (Crustacea: Mysidae) from the east coast of South Africa, with notes on habitat preferences</b>]]> Three new species of Mysidae are described, taken by hand-net, using SCUBA, from reef habitats in 20-40 m water depth on the KwaZulu-Natal shelf. Idiomysis robustus is the fifth described member of this curious genus, and shares the peculiar body shape of all the other known Idiomysis species. The species is found in small shoals, over low-profile, scattered reef. Kainommatomysis zuluensis is the third described species in this genus. Observations suggest this species does not swarm conspicuously, and it has only been collected by sweeping a hand net among gorgonians and seaweeds. Australerythrops africanus is only the second described species of this genus. It has not been seen over open reef, but is commonly found in small to medium-sized caves, or hovering around the entrance to a cave, in swarms containing hundreds, and sometimes thousands of individuals. <![CDATA[<b>The first record of <i>Agerostrea ungulata</i> (von Schlotheim, 1813) (Bivalvia: Ostreoidea) from the upper Maastrichtian of KwaZulu, South Africa, with a discussion of its distribution in southeast Africa and Madagascar</b>]]> Recent (2005) excavations for expansions to the harbour at Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, yielded a single specimen of the ostreid Agerostrea ungulata (von Schlotheim, 1813). This is the first, and thus far only, record of this species from the Upper Maastrichtian of South Africa. Its distribution in southeast Africa and Madagascar is discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Aragonitic-walled benthic foraminifera <i>(Epistomina)</i> in the Cretaceous 'mudbelt' off southern Africa, and postmortem cross-shelf transport of tests</b>]]> Throughout the Early Albian to Maastrichtian period there was a widespread dominance of aragonitic-walled tests in inner neritic benthic foraminifera assemblages, of which species of the genus Epistomina predominate. Fifty years ago Smitter first recognized Epistomina-dominated assemblages from outcrops at Mzamba and in the KwaZulu Basin, and realized their stratigraphic potential. These aragonitic-walled species are believed to have inhabited the palaeo-mudbelt. The changing ornamentation characteristics of both highly ornamented and smooth-walled Epistomina evolving through time led Smitter to recognize their value as marker species. They are found throughout the inner neritic region in basins experiencing slow siliciclastic sedimentation in normal marine, clay-dominated environments where fluvial input is limited (Pletmos, Gamtoos, Algoa, Thekwini and KwaZulu). Epistomina species, and aragonitic genera in general are absent in inner neritic regions of basins experiencing hyposalinity and rapid sedimentation, where fluvial input is abundant (Bredasdorp and Orange). However, although Epistomina-dominated assemblages are missing in the inner neritic (partly equivalent to the mudbelt) domains of the Orange and Bredasdorp Basins, transported tests of Epistomina are preserved in abundance in upper bathyal claystones in the two basins. The enigma of a complete absence of in situ aragonitic-shelled tests in the inner neritic domain, yet an abundance of obviously allochthonous tests, transported via debris flows to upper bathyal environments, is discussed with regard to the development of unconformities within the stratigraphic successions of southern African Cretaceous basins. <![CDATA[<b>Reappraisal of foraminiferal assemblages of the Santonian-Campanian Mzamba Formation type section, and their correlation with the stratigraphic succession of the KwaZulu Basin</b>]]> Recent processing of additional samples, re-processing of the M. Makrides samples and re-evaluation of benthic and planktic foraminifera assemblages previously described from Mzamba Cliff, has led to the finding of several rare species that support previous ammonite datings of the succession. These include numbers of the planktic species Dicarinella asymetrica (Sigal) and Sigalia sp., which are limited to the Middle to Late Santonian, and to the Middle Santonian, respectively. Sigalia sp. appears to be a different species from the widely distributed Sigalia deflaensis (Sigal), as it is distinguished by depressed sutures throughout. Alternatively Sigalia sp. maybe avariant limited to shallow or temperate waters; or it may be a juvenile form of Sigalia deflaensis. In addition, rare tests of the Santonian larger benthic foraminifera Pseudosiderolites sp. have been found, the first such larger foraminifera from the Late Cretaceous succession of southern Africa. Comments on the possible stratigraphic value of a species of Cyclammina occurring through the Campanian interval at Mzamba Cliff are also included. A palaeoecological review is presented, as well as an updated attempt at a foraminiferal bed-by-bed stratigraphy of the Mzamba outcrop succession. <![CDATA[<b>Review of the ant genus <i>Nesomyrmex</i> (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) in southern Africa</b>]]> Members of the genus Nesomyrmex in southern Africa are small, non-dominant, myrmicine ants that nest either in trees (angulatus-group) or in soil (simoni-group). Of the twenty species recorded from this region, the following 15 are newly described: ontoinetteoe, cederbergensis, entobeni, ezontsi, inye, karooensis, koebergensis, lorsenae, mcgregori, nanniae, njengelanga, ruani, soosveldensis, tshiguvhoae and vonnoorti. All Nesomyrmex species recorded from southern Africa are described and illustrated, with accompanying information on biology and distribution. <![CDATA[<b>Cretaceous faunas from Zululand and Natal, South Africa. The ammonite subfamily Lyelliceratinae Spath, 1921</b>]]> The Lower and basal Middle Albian ammonite Subfamily Lyelliceratinae Spath, 1921 is reviewed, and restricted to the genera Tegoceras Hyatt, 1903, Lyelliceras Spath, 1921, and Pseudobrancoceras Kennedy, 2004. An evolutionary origin in Brancoceratinae Spath, 1934 is proposed. The South American taxa from Colombia and Peru referred to Tegoceras, Lyelliceras, Prolyelliceras Spath, 1930b, and its synonym Ralphimlayites Etayo-Serna, 1979, are lyelliceratine homoeomorphs, derived independently from Brancoceratinae. The North African 'Prionotropis' radenaci Pervinquière, 1907 is tentatively referred to Prolyelliceras, while 'Lyelliceras' flandrini Dubourdieu, 1953 is a further lyelliceratine homoeomorph subgenerically or generically distinct from Prolyelliceras. The following are described from KwaZulu: Tegoceras mosense (d'Orbigny, 1841), T. collignoni (Breistroffer, 1953), T. camatteanum (d'Orbigny, 1841), Lyelliceras lyelli (d'Orbigny, 1841), L. pseudolyelli (Parona & Bonarelli, 1897), L. latili sp. nov., and Pseudobrancoceras versicostatum (Michelin, 1838). On the basis of this revision, a sequence of four faunas are recognized, characterized, successively, by the presence of 1: Tegoceras gladiator and Aioloceras, 2: Tegoceras camatteanum;3: Lyelliceras pseudolyelli, and 4: Lyelliceras lyelli, the appearance of the last-named marking the base of the Middle Albian Substage. <![CDATA[<b>Hypermorphosis in <i>Salaziceras,</i> a Cretaceous ammonite, from Madagascar</b>]]> An enigmatic ammonite from Mont Raynaud, Madagascar, originally referred to the Upper Cenomanian Calycoceras (Calycoceras ) naviculare (Mantell, 1822) is associated with an exclusively upper Upper Albian fauna. It is interpreted as a new, hypermorphic giant species of Salaziceras Breistroffer, 1936, S. lemoinei. <![CDATA[<b>Cretaceous faunas from Zululand and Natal, South Africa. The ammonite family Forbesiceratidae Wright, 1952</b>]]> Members of the cosmopolitan Cenomanian ammonite family Forbesiceratidae were already recorded from KwaZulu by G.C. Crick in 1907. Since that time, six additional specimens have been found. The species present are: F. largilliertianum (d'Orbigny, 1841), F. beaumontianum (d'Orbigny, 1841), F. chevillei (Pictet & Renevier, 1866) (of which F. sculptum Crick, 1907, and F. nodosum Crick, 1907, are synonyms); F. cf. subobtectum (Stoliczka, 1864), and Forbesiceras sp. An annotated list of described species of Forbesiceras is provided, as are figures of key species from Madagascar, including the type material of Neopulchellia Collignon, 1929, a subjective synonym of Forbesiceras.