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Placopus Schulze 1875 (Vampyrellidae): Systematics

The generic name Placopus (Plakopus) has long fallen into disuse, with general acceptance that it is a junior synonym of Hyalodiscus Hertwig et Lesser 1874 (Page and Willumsen 1980). This widespread opinion (e.g. Klein 1882 a, b, Zopf 1885, Dangeard 1886, Penard 1902, Cash 1905, Hoogenraad 1907, Jahn 1928, De Saedeleer 1930) is contradictory to recognitions that the then monotypic genera described by Schulze resp. Hertwig and Lesser exhibit considerable differences which justify the preservation of two discrete taxa, at least at the species level. The endorsement of the existence of two discernible and separate species was initiated and expressed for instance by Leidy (1879), Mereschkowsky (1879), West (1901), Gobi (1915), and Schaeffer (1926). With the clarification of the life cycle as Vampyrella-like (Klein 1882 a, b, Hoogenraad 1907) – the alternation of swarming trophozoites attacking green algae and obligatory encysted stages – a positioning within the Vampyrellidae Zopf 1885 became widely accepted.

The following name-bearing types are now considered as taxonomic species within the genus Placopus (Vampyrellidae):

Placopus rubicundus (Hertwig et Lesser 1874) Jahn 1928 – type species by priority (syn. Hyalodiscus rubicundus Hertwig et Lesser 1874)

Placopus ruber Schulze 1875 (syn. Hyalodiscus ruber Mereschkowsky 1879)

Placopus korotnewi (Mereschkowsky 1879) Jaworowski 1891 (syn. Hyalodiscus korotnewi Mereschkowsky 1879)

Placopus pedatus (Klein 1882) comb. nov. (syn. Vampyrella pedata Klein 1882 – syn. Hyalodiscus pedatus Röpstorf et al. 1993 – syn. Hyalodiscus placopus Hülsmann 1974 – non Gocevia placopus (Hülsmann 1974) Page & Willumsen 1980 – non Paragocevia placopus (Hülsmann 1974) Page 1987

(Placopus lomnickii Jaworowski 1891 (= Vannella Bovee 1967) and Placopus minimus Lepsi 1931 (= Vannella Bovee 1967) (syn. Hyalodiscus minimus Lepsi 1960) are not considered as vampyrellids and as members of the genus Placopus. The same applies to all named species of the genus Hyalodiscus which are not listed in the above compilation).


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© Norbert Hülsmann

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