Edwardsia mcmurrichi , Daly, Marymegan & Ljubenkov, John C., 2008

Daly, Marymegan & Ljubenkov, John C., 2008, Edwardsiid sea anemones of California (Cnidaria: Actiniaria: Edwardsiidae), with descriptions of eight new species, Zootaxa 1860, pp. 1-27: 10-11

publication ID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Edwardsia mcmurrichi

sp. nov.

Edwardsia mcmurrichi  sp. nov.

Figs. 1 View Figure , 6 View Figure ; Table 2

123 ° 32.99 'W, 16 ­Oct­2000, 2650 m; CASAbout CAS 175243, San Francisco, California, SF­DODS Sta. 64, 37° 36.01 'N 123 ° 33.01 'W, 25 ­Sep­2002, 3136 m; CASAbout CAS 175236, San Francisco, California, SF­DODS Sta. 64, 37° 35.98 'N 123 ° 32.96 'W, 26 ­Sep­2003, 3130 m; CASAbout CAS 175249, San Francisco, California, SF­DODS Sta. 116, 37°35.00'N 123 °29.00'W, Fall 2004, 3000 m.

External anatomy. Tentacles filiform, 16. Scapus with prominent nemathybomes forming distinct longitudinal rows distally, scattered proximally ( Fig. 6 View Figure A). Periderm thin, fluffy, of fine sediment. Mesenterial insertions visible as furrows with nemathybome rows forming ridges between them distally ( Fig. 6 View Figure A). Physa naked, may be retracted inside scapus ( Figs. 6 View Figure A, C).

Internal anatomy and histology. Parietal and retractor muscles restricted, relatively weak ( Figs. 6 View Figure B, D). Retractor muscle with pennon; branches of pennon relatively short ( Fig. 6 View Figure B). Parietal muscle ovoid to trianguloid; branches closer to body wall ramified and longer, central lamella thicker than lateral branches ( Fig. 6 View Figure D). Gonochoric: all examined specimens either male or female. Nemathybomes large, single, sunken into mesoglea, with top edge protruding into epidermis ( Fig. 6 View Figure E). Epidermis and mesoglea of scapus irregular, forming troughs and valleys ( Figs. 6 View Figure C, E). Mesoglea of scapus thicker than that of physa; epidermis thicker and more glandular on physa than on scapus ( Fig. 6 View Figure C).

Cnidom. Spirocysts, basitrichs, microbasic p ­mastigophores ( Figs 6 View Figure F–M; see Table 2 for size and distribution).

Etymology. Named for J. Playfair McMurrich (1859–1939), our predecessor in the study of southern California Edwardsiidae  . Dr. McMurrich described 65 species of Hexacorallia (including E. californica  ) and was president of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Society of Canada.

Distribution and habitat. Known only from the basin floor of the Farallons Escarpment, at depths of 2100–3100 m, co­occurring with P. h e i a. This region blends into the greater Pacific Basin, thus E. mcmurrichi  and P. h e i a may occur more widely in the Pacific abyssal plain.

Similar species. This species resembles E. californica  in general size and external anatomy. Despite their similar body size, the retractor muscles of E. mcmurrichi  are much smaller than those of E. californica  . The two differ in cnidom: E. mcmurrichi  has a single, smaller size of nemathybome nematocyst. Additionally, E. mcmurrichi  occurs in deep basins of central California, whereas E. californica  occurs at intertidal and shallow shelf depths in southern California.

Remarks. None.


California Academy of Sciences