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Stenocyathus vermiformis (Pourtalès, 1868)




“Coenocyathus vermiformis Pourtalès, 1868, pp. 133, 134.


Stenocyathus vermiformis; von Marenzeller, 1904a, pp. 298-300, pi. 18, fig. 16.—Zibrowius, 1974a, pp. 769, 770; 1980, pp. 163-165, pi. 84, figs. A-Q.—Cairns, 1979, pp. 168-170, pi. 32, figs. 8-10, pi. 33, figs. 1, 2.


Stenocyathus decamera Ralph and Squires, 1962, pp. 11, 12, pi. 4, figs. 2-6.—Squires and Keyes, 1967, p. 28, pi. 6, figs. 3-5.—Squires, 1969, p. 17, pi. 6, map 2.” Cairns 1982, p. 52.



“Description. The corallum is cylindrical, elongate, and vermiform, reaching lengths of over 50 mm but rarely exceeding 3 mm in calicular diameter. It is usually free, lying horizontally on the substrate; it is rarely basally attached. The epitheca is usually smooth and glossy, particularly delicate at the calicular end, but may also be rough as a result of the presence of numerous annuli corresponding to periodic stages of growth. Opaque, white spots are arranged in 24 longitudinal rows, which occur in all interseptal spaces but most closely adjacent to either side of the S3. The centers of the spots are longitudinally spaced 0.35-0.45 mm apart. The spots are not visible as a surface structure with the SEM. The calice is round and one often occurs on each end of a recumbent specimen. Septa are arranged in six systems and three cycles, but often the third cycle is not fully developed. The six S1 are not exsert, extend only halfway to the columella, and have sinuous inner edges. S2 are half as large and have even more sinuous inner edges. S3 are almost as large as the S2 but have reduced upper margins and virtually straight inner edges. Large, pointed septal granules are arranged either randomly or in short carinae oriented perpendicular to the trabeculae. Six P2 are often present, forming a distinct palar ring in the fossa. They are tall and narrow, with sinuous inner edges and granules that are larger than those on the septa. S3 and P2 are often missing from a system, producing an asymmetrical palar ring. The columella is composed of one, rarely two or three, twisted ribbons. Sometimes the columella is absent.” Cairns 1979, pp. 168-170.




“Discussion. Additional variations noted in the Subantarctic specimens include the following: (1) the Si are sometimes exsert, (2) the S3 are sometimes equal to or larger than the S2, and (3) the columella may be composed of up to four elements. The white spots on the theca are solid, smooth structures but probably represent areas of lesser calcification, as is evidenced by their earlier erosion to pores after death of the coral.



Material. Eltanin sta. 1284 (8), USNM 47450; sta. 1411 (1), USNM 47448; sta. 1691 (1), USNM 47454; sta. 1851 (1), USNM 47446. NZOI sta. A-740 (1), USNM 47449; sta. D-159 (9), USNM 47452; sta. D-160 (1), USNM 47451; sta. D-175 (1), USNM 47453. Specimens (9) identified as S. decamera by Squires and Keyes (1967) from NZOI sta. B-319, USNM 47447; specimens listed by Cairns (1979), USM. Syntypes


of C. vermiformis.” Cairns 1982, p. 52



“Types. At the MCZ there are 38 coralla or fragments of C. vermiformis Pourtales, distributed in four lots, bearing the numbers 2790, 5587, and 5605 (one lot is unnumbered). Although not clearly stated in the text or with the specimens, these syntypes were probably collected from Bibb-10, 11, and 21. The holotypes of C. simplex and C. carpenteri are both deposited at the BM (1883.12.10.24 and 1883.12.10.23). It is unknown if types of S. washingtoni exist. The holotype of S. decamera is deposited at the New Zealand Geological Survey, Wellington. Type-Locality. - Off Florida Keys; 274-329 m.” Cairns 1979, pp. 168-170.



“Distribution. Widely distributed in Atlantic Ocean: Mediterranean Sea; area bordered by Celtic Sea, Azores, and Madeira; western Atlantic from off Georgia, United States, to off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; off Penedos de São Pedro e São Paulo (St. Peter and Paul Rocks). From more southern latitudes known from off Île Saint-Paul and Île Amsterdam, Indian Ocean; off New Zealand; Campbell Plateau; off Antipodes Islands; several seamounts in South Pacific (Map 12). Depth range: 80-1229 m.” Cairns 1982, p. 52.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Source: Antarctic Invertebrates Website (NMNH)

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