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"Paracorallium, new genus


Type species.—Coralliurn tortuosum Bayer 1956.


Seven species of Corallium characterized by axial pits with beaded rims are here rec­ognized as members of a new genus mor­phologically distinct from Corallium, here called Paracoralliurn: P. stylasteroides ­(Ridley, 1882), P. japonicum (Kishinouye, 1903), P. inutile (Kishinouye, 1903), P. sal­omonense (Thomson & Mackinnon, 1910), P. tortuosum (Bayer, 1956), P. thrinax (Bayer & Stefani in Bayer, 1996), and P. nix (Bayer, 1996).


Diagnosis.–Coralliidae with autozooids seated in deep pits in the solid axis, pits with prominently beaded margins especial­ly near branch tips; axis with strong longi­tudinal grooves. Scierites including crosses, 6- and 8-radiate capstans that may be more or less asymmetrically developed, forming double clubs in some species. Long spindles have not been found in the autozooids of any species of Paracorallium, but oth­erwise the range of sclerites is the same as in species of Corallium.


Etymology.—Para, from Greek para = near + Corallium, from Greek korallion = coral. Neuter noun.


Distribution.—Indo-west Pacific, from Hawaii west to Japan and south to New Ca­ledonia in the Pacific, and west to Mauritius and the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. At moderate depths, all known re­cords between 136 and 273 m.


In the following summary of nominal species at present referable to Paracoral­lium, the species are arranged according to their significant morphological characters.


I.—Species with smooth double clubs (double carafes, operaglasses) predominat­ing in the coenenchymal sclerites, which also include 6-radiates, sometimes 7-radi­ates, and crosses; stubby rods in anthoco­diae.


A.—Colonies branched on all sides, of­ten anastomosing, major stems tend to re­main in one plane, reaching a height of 12 cm. Cortex light red, axis white with pink tints.”


(Bayer & Cairns, 2003)


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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