Stichopathes pourtalesi Brook, 1889

Wagner, Daniel & Shuler, Andrew, 2017, The black coral fauna (Cnidaria: Antipatharia) of Bermuda with new records, Zootaxa 4344 (2), pp. 367-379: 371

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Stichopathes pourtalesi Brook, 1889


Stichopathes pourtalesi Brook, 1889 

Stichopathes pourtalesi  forms unbranched colonies that are 1 m or more in height, and coiled distally forming multiple spirals ( Figure 3a –bView FIGURE 3). The skeletal spines are conical and covered with elongated papillae towards their distal half ( Figure 3dView FIGURE 3). On the lower part of the corallum, skeletal spines are often forked or have multiple lobes towards their apex. The polypar spines are generally 100–200 µm tall, whereas abpolypar spines are only 50–150 µm in height ( Figure 3d –eView FIGURE 3). Skeletal spines are arranged in axial rows with adjoining rows offset in a spiral pattern around the corallum ( Figure 3dView FIGURE 3). Spine spacing ranges between 300–750 µm in each row ( Figure 3dView FIGURE 3). The polyps are 0.8–1.7 mm in transverse diameter, and spaced 1.0– 2.7 mm apart ( Figure 3cView FIGURE 3). Living colonies are light brown or white in coloration ( Figure 3aView FIGURE 3). Syntypes that were assigned to S. pourtalesi  in the recent redescription of this species were collected from the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico at depths ranging between 82–299 m ( Bo & Opresko, 2015). All Bermudan specimens examined as part of this study were collected at depths between 143–305 m ( Table 1).