Distichopathes filix ( Pourtales, 1867 ), Pourtales, 1867

Wagner, Daniel & Shuler, Andrew, 2017, The black coral fauna (Cnidaria: Antipatharia) of Bermuda with new records, Zootaxa 4344 (2), pp. 367-379: 374

publication ID


publication LSID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Distichopathes filix ( Pourtales, 1867 )


Distichopathes filix ( Pourtales, 1867)  

Distichopathes filix   forms very sparsely-branched colonies that are branched in a single plane ( Figure 5a –b View FIGURE 5 ). Pinnulation is bilateral, and the pinnules in each lateral row alternate with those of the opposite row ( Figure 5b –c View FIGURE 5 ). Spines are needle-shaped and covered with distinct tubercles on the distal third of their surface ( Figure 5d –e View FIGURE 5 ). On the side of the corallum opposite to the one bearing the polyps, the spines are uniform in height and typically range between 90–120 µm ( Figure 5d View FIGURE 5 ). In contrast, the side of the corallum bearing the polyps contains skeletal spines of greatly varying heights ( Figure 5d View FIGURE 5 ). The tallest spines are located in the area underneath the outer edges of polyps and reach heights of 200–250 µm, whereas the shortest spines are situated in the area underneath the oral cone, and typically reach heights of only 200 µm ( Figure 5d View FIGURE 5 ). Polyps are 0.7–1.0 mm in transverse diameter, and spaced 1.1– 1.2 mm apart ( Figure 5c View FIGURE 5 ). The color of living colonies is bright yellow ( Figure 5a View FIGURE 5 ). D. filix   has previously been reported from the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico at depths ranging between 51–695 m ( Opresko, 2009; Cairns et al., 1993; Opresko, 1972; Brook, 1889; Pourtales, 1871). The only Bermudan specimen examined as part of this study was collected at a depth of 304 m ( Table 1).