Leptogorgia aequatorialis Bielschowsky, 1929

Published, First, 2007, A revision of the genus Leptogorgia Milne Edwards & Haime, 1857 (Coelenterata: Octocorallia: Gorgoniidae) in the eastern Pacific, Zootaxa 1419, pp. 1-90: 6-9

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Leptogorgia aequatorialis Bielschowsky, 1929


Leptogorgia aequatorialis Bielschowsky, 1929  

( Figs. 1–3)

Leptogorgia aequatorialis Bielschowsky, 1918: 31   [Nomen nudum]; Kükenthal 1919: 914; Kükenthal 1924: 331. Bielschowsky 1929: 118–119

Lophogorgia aequatorialis Harden 1976: 67   .

Material examined. Holotype: ZMHC 4872, preserved, Bahia de Caraguez , Ecuador, 4–5 m, no more data available.  

Holotype description. The specimen is a fragment of the original colony which was 70 mm in height, and 70 mm in width (Bielschowsky 1929, figured specimen). What remains is a 50 mm by 50 mm piece of colony. Branching is irregularly pinnate with alternating pinnae, some subdivide again producing short branchlets. Branches are squarrish (in cross section), 2.5–3.0 mm in diameter, and pinnae have the same appearance, about 2.0 mm in diameter. Free branchlets are up to 15 mm in length, with a pointed tip ( Fig. 1A–B). Polyps are whitish, distributed all around the branches. Quill-like folds of coenenchyme are formed in the naked space between the polyp-rows of some branches. Polyp-mounds are prominent, dome-shaped, around 1.0 mm in diameter, with labiate apertures. Colour is deep orange. Coenenchymal sclerites are all orange. They are mostly capstans, that reach up to 0.08 mm in length, and 0.045 mm in width ( Figs. 1D, 2). There are also spin- dles that reach up to 0.10 mm in length, and 0.045 mm in width, with 3–4 whorls of tubercles. Some have bent ends. Crosses measuring up to 0.06 mm by 0.06 mm are also present ( Fig. 2). Anthocodial rods are small, biscuit-shaped, and of a reddish-pink colour. They form a ring of an untidy arrangement below the polyp tentacles; they reach up to 0.04 mm in length, and 0.03 mm in width, with smooth, or lobed margins ( Figs. 1C, 2).

Distribution. Only known from the type locality: Caraguez Bay, Ecuador ( Table 2, Fig. 3).

Remarks. Bielschowsky (1918, 1929) made a revision of the Gorgoniidae   overlooking early type designations which in some cases affected concepts of nomenclature. These were later revised and emended by Bayer (1951). Bielschowsky (1918, 1929) described six new species of Leptogorgia   from various localities in the eastern Pacific without designating holotypes. Herein we consider valid only three of them; L. aequatorialis   , L. obscura   and L. parva Bielschowsky, 1929   , and have synonymized the other three species (see below). Of the material Bielschowsky examined, only a fragment of L. aequatorialis   , two colonies of L. parva   , and one small colony of L. obscura   remain.

These three species are similar in the style of branching (irregular pinnate), the prominent polyp-mounds, and also the size of the known specimens is similar, but they differ in the colour of the colonies, the colour of the sclerites and the sclerite composition. Leptogorgia aequatorialis   is of a distinct deep bright orange colour, with orange coenenchymal sclerites, L. obscura   is dark violet, with violet and pink coenenchymal sclerites, and L. parva   is purplish red, with red, pink and yellow coenenchymal sclerites (all of these specimens are preserved in ethanol); the spindles in L. aequatorialis   are smaller than in the other two species. In L. parva   and L. obscura   the longest spindles reach 0.12 mm, but the occurrence of spindles with acute ends in L. parva   is higher than in L. obscura   ( Table 1). The small (up to 0.04 mm) biscuit-like anthocodial rods of L. aequatorialis   differentiate this species from the other two. In L. parva   anthocodial rods are orange and measure up to 0.05 mm, in L. obscura   they are pale orange, amber, and pink, and measure up to 0.06 mm.














Leptogorgia aequatorialis Bielschowsky, 1929

Published, First 2007

Leptogorgia aequatorialis

Kukenthal 1919: 914