Halecium banyulense Motz-Kossowska, 1911

Schuchert, Peter, 2005, Taxonomic revision and systematic notes on some Halecium species (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa), Journal of Natural History 39 (8), pp. 607-639: 632-634

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http://doi.org/ 10.1080/00222930400001319

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Halecium banyulense Motz-Kossowska, 1911


Halecium banyulense Motz-Kossowska, 1911  

( Figure 14 View Figure 14 )

Halecium muricatum var. banyulense Motz-Kossowska 1911, p 338   , Figures 10 View Figure 10 , 11 View Figure 11 . Halecium banyulense: Stechow 1921, p 253   .

Material examined

MHNG INVE 34237, Mediterranean , Italy, Island of Capri, coll. 22 January 1892, two colonies, one with gonothecae, one overgrown by Lafoea dumosa     .


Colonies erect, up to 8 cm high and 6 cm broad, much branched, branches strictly in one plane, branching pattern quite regular, stem and branches polysiphonic, thinning out to monosiphonic terminal regions. Monosipohonic parts segmented through weak nodes, these alternately oblique. Segments elongate, about 1 mm long, with a subterminal apophysis for the next segment and a hydrophore overtopping node of segment, at junction of apophysis and hydrophore a tongue-like process projecting into lumen of internode. Hydrotheca shallow, basal diameter 0.15–0.17 mm, depth 20–40 mm, walls everted, sometimes rim rolled-in, desmocytes present, opening plane of hydrotheca tilted, secondary hydrothecae frequent, first one with hydrophore (length up to twice the diameter), tertiary or higher hydrothecae with short hydrophore ( Figure 13C View Figure 13 ). Hydranth with about 22 tentacles. Gonothecae on stem and branches, only female ones could be identified, diameter 1.1 mm, shape resembling a Pecten   shell (scallop) through nine or 10 radiating depressions and elevations, these elevations and depressions rounded and without crease-lines, rim of gonotheca slightly undulated.

Further data

Motz-Kossowska (1911) describes the colonies as hermaphroditic, with male and female gonothecae occurring on the same stem. Female gonothecae contain four to six eggs. Male gonothecae are smaller, either smooth or also with ribs.


Mediterranean. Type locality: Banyuls-sur-Mer , France   .


The characteristic female gonotheca ( Figure 13D View Figure 13 ) leaves no doubt that the present material belongs to this rare species. The material differed from Motz-Kossowska’s description (1911) only in the more everted hydrothecae ( Figure 13C View Figure 13 ).

Motz-Kossowska (1911) described this species as a variant of H. muricatum var. banyulense   . Halecium muricatum ( Ellis and Solander, 1786)   has gonothecae bearing numerous spines. The gonothecae are not dimorphic as in Motz-Kossowska’s variant. The microscopic structure of the trophosome H. muricatum   is also different (cf. Cornelius 1995; Schuchert 2001): the hydrophores are much longer and they have a basal node. Halecium muricatum   is a northern boreal to arctic species. The southern limit in Europe is the British Isles. The morphological and geographical differences of H. muricatum   and Motz-Kossowska’s variant are evidence enough to regard both as distinct species. The combination Halecium banyulense   was used in the species list of Boero and Bouillon (1993).

The female gonothecae of Halecium banyulense   and of the arctic Halecium birulai Spassky 1929   resemble each other (see Schuchert 2001 for re-description of H. birulai   ). The female gonotheca of the latter species, however, has radiating keels that form more or less sharp crease-lines. Additionally, the hydrothecae are much deeper. It is a purely arctic species and therefore it is very likely distinct from H. banyulense   .

Halecium banyulense   seems to be a particularly rare species. This report is apparently the second record only, but I suspect that infertile material has occasionally been identified as H. liouυillei Billard, 1934. The latter species was originally described as monosiphonic, but some authors also included polysiphonic colonies in that species (see Medel and Vervoort 2000 for references).


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle














Halecium banyulense Motz-Kossowska, 1911

Schuchert, Peter 2005

Halecium banyulense:

Stechow 1921: 253

Halecium muricatum var. banyulense

Motz-Kossowska 1911: 338

Halecium banyulense

Motz-Kossowska 1911