Halocoryne epizoica Hadzi, 1917,

Gravili, Cinzia, Vito, Doris De, Camillo, Cristina Gioia Di, Martell, Luis, Piraino, Stefano & Boero, Ferdinando, 2015, The non-Siphonophoran Hydrozoa (Cnidaria) of Salento, Italy with notes on their life-cycles: an illustrated guide, Zootaxa 3908 (1), pp. 1-187: 67-69

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Halocoryne epizoica Hadzi, 1917


Halocoryne epizoica Hadzi, 1917 

Fig. 46View FIGURE 46 A –F

See Schuchert (2010) for a complete synonymy.

Material examined. HCUS-S 0 51 (Hydrozoa Collection, University of Salento—fauna of the Salento Peninsula)—polyp stage.

Description (based on our own observations; Hadzi 1917 a, b; Brinckmann-Voss 1970; Bouillon 1974; Piraino et al. 1992; Schuchert 2010):

Hydroid. Hydrorhiza reticular, embedded in bryozoan colonies; colonies stolonal, polymorphic; gastrozooids cylindrical, very thin, sessile, naked, lacking tentacles but with 2 prominent ectodermal swellings containing stenoteles on opposite sides of the mouth; dactylo-gonozooids stouter than gastrozooids, without mouth and tentacles, with a terminal spherical cnidocyst cluster and up to 5 additional cnidocyst clusters along one side of the body or arranged in an interrupted spiral towards hydrorhiza. Colours: gonozooids dark red, other polyps dark red to transparent.

Eumedusoid: liberated or not, borne singly or in clusters on short pedicels on lower part of dactylogonozooids, bell-shaped with 4 exumbrellar cnidocyst pouches connected with marginal bulbs, manubrium reaching two thirds the height of subumbrellar cavity, without mouth; 4 radial canals; gonads completely encircling manubrium; 4 perradial marginal bulbs, without tentacles. Colours: dark red due to dense granules identical to those of the dactylo-gonozooids.

Habitat type and substrate. Polyps grow in association with the bryozoan Schizoporella sanguinea  (depth range: 0–40 m, also up to 100 m) ( Hadzi 1917 a, b; Piraino et al. 1992; this study).

Seasonality. From January to December in Salento waters (De Vito 2006; this study).

Reproductive period. Fertile colonies occur in April, June –October (De Vito 2006; this study) in Salento waters.

Cnidome. Stenoteles of two sizes (polyp); stenoteles of two sizes, macrobasic euryteles (?), and macrobasic mastigophores (medusa).

Distribution. Endemic to the Mediterranean Sea ( Brinckmann-Voss 1970; Piraino et al. 1992; Bouillon et al. 2004; Gravili et al. 2008 a; Schuchert 2010).

Records in Salento. Common in the following localities: Torre dell’Inserraglio, Montagna Spaccata, La Strea, La Rotonda, Porto Badisco, Marina  di Corsano, Palude del Capitano, Torre Vado, Ponte del Ciolo ( Presicce 1991); Ionian and Adriatic coasts of Apulia ( Piraino et al. 1992); Porto Cesareo (Boero et al. 2000); Otranto (De Vito 2006; Gravili 2006; Gravili et al. 2008 a; this study).

Remarks. The whole life cycle was examined in the present study. Halocoryne epizoica  engulfs and feeds on the lophophoral tentacles of its bryozoan host Schizobrachiella sanguinea ( Piraino et al. 1992)  .

References. Hadzi (1917), Picard (1958 a), Brinckmann-Voss (1970), Petersen (1990), Piraino et al. (1992, 1999), Boero et al. (2000), Bouillon et al. (2004), De Vito (2006), Gravili (2006), Gravili et al. (2008 a), Schuchert (2010).