Dendrophyllia arbuscula van der Horst, 1922

Filander, Zoleka N., Kitahara, Marcelo V., Cairns, Stephen D., Sink, Kerry J. & Lombard, Amanda T., 2021, Azooxanthellate Scleractinia (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) from South Africa, ZooKeys 1066, pp. 1-198 : 1

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Dendrophyllia arbuscula van der Horst, 1922


Dendrophyllia arbuscula van der Horst, 1922

Fig. 8G, H View Figure 8

Dendrophyllia arbuscula van der Horst, 1922: 53, pl. 8, fig. 6 (in part: ‘Siboga’ Stn. 277, pl. 8, fig. 6). - Yabe and Eguchi 1942b: 162, 166-167. -Crossland 1952: 92. - Eguchi 1968: C55-C56, pl. C21, figs 5, 13. - Wells 1964: 108. - Pillai and Scheer 1974: 462, fig. 7A. -Pillai 1983: 89. - Veron 1986: 578. -Cairns 1994: 90-91, pl. 38, figs I-L. - Cairns 1995: 125-126, pl. 43, figs E, F. - Ogawa and Takahashi 1995: 17, pl. 1, figs 1-7. - Cairns and Zibrowius 1997: 192-193, fig. 29A-C. - Cairns 1998: 408-409. - Cairns 1999a: 133-134. - Cairns et al. 1999: 26. - Cairns 2001: 34. -Cairns 2004a: 267, 315. -Lam et al. 2009, 732-733, fig. 1E-I.

Dendrophyllia micranthus . -van der Horst 1922: 50.

Dendrophyllia subcornigera Eguchi, 1968: C64, pl. C32, figs 3, 4.

Dendrophyllia horsti Gardiner & Waugh, 1939: 237-238, pl. 2, figs 5, 6. -Fricke and Schuhmacher 1983: 184, fig. 14D.

Dendrophyllia sp. cf. D. horsti . - Cairns and Keller 1993: 278, pl. 13, figs F, I.

Type locality.

Off Banda Sea, Indonesia (HMS ‘Siboga’ stns. 260 and 277); 45-90 m (van der Horst 1922).

Type material.

Three syntypes are deposited at the ZMA (Cairns 1994).

Material examined.

SAMC_A073119 (1 colony): Eastern margin, 39 km from Cape Vidal / 29 km off Mgobezeleni Estuary, 27°47'23.99"S, 32°38'53.87"E; 65- 70 m. GoogleMaps SAM_H3064 (1 colony): Southern margin, 18 km from Cape Padrone / 30 km off Boknes Estuary, 33°49'00.00"S, 26°16'59.99"E; 65 m. GoogleMaps SAM_H5104 (1 colony): Eastern margin, 59 km from Cape Vidal / 9 km off Mgobezeleni Estuary, 27°36'38.45"S, 32°40'02.99"E; 59 m. GoogleMaps USNM 91815 (2 colonies): Eastern margin, 90 km from Shaka’s Rock / 9 km off Boesmans Estuary, 29°32'12.11"S, 31°19'47.99"E; 50 m. GoogleMaps USNM 91816 (3 colonies): Eastern margin, 17 km south of Ponta Do Ouro / 10 km off Kosi-Kumpungwini (Sifungwe) Estuary, 27°00'11.87"S, 32°54'18.00"E; 68 m. GoogleMaps USNM 91817 (1 colony): Eastern margin, 17 km south of Ponta Do Ouro / 11 km off Kosi-Kumpungwini (Sifungwe) Estuary, 27°00'24.11"S, 32°55'12.00"E; 66 m. GoogleMaps USNM 91818 (2 colonies): Eastern margin, 19 km south of Ponta Do Ouro / 12 km off Kosi-Kumpungwini (Sifungwe) Estuary, 27°01'05.87"S, 32°55'05.88"E; 69- 73 m. GoogleMaps USNM 91819 (1 colony): Eastern margin, 29 km south of Ponta Do Ouro / 19 km Kosi Bay Estuary, 27°06'47.87"S, 32°52'54.12"E; 74 m. GoogleMaps USNM 91820 (1 colony): Eastern margin, 41 km south of Ponta Do Ouro / 26 km off Kosi Bay Estuary, 27°13'00.11"S, 32°49'41.87"E; 72 m. GoogleMaps


Colony small, attached, and bear few corallites, of which one is axial; remaining budding from lower or upper corallum of axial corallite. Primary corallite elongate cylindrical, and firmly attached to substrate through a robust pedicel (PD:GCD = 0.9). Secondary corallites low (< 5 mm in H). Calice slightly elliptical (GCD:LCD = 1.1-1.4), calicular margin lanceted. Largest corallite examined (axial) 12.0 × 10.7 mm in CD, and 31.2 mm in H. Costae conspicuous, broad, equal in width, flat, slightly porous, and granular. Intercostal furrows shallow and quite porous. Corallum white.

Septa hexamerally arranged in four complete cycles according to the formula: S1 ≥ S2 > S3 > S4 or S1 ≥ S2 > S4 > S3 (48 septa), with S5 sometimes present. At calicular margin, upper outer margin of S4 fuses to neighbouring septa (S1 or S2) forming small triangular lancets. S1 independent, slightly exsert, and extend towards columella with straight axial margins. S2 also independent, slightly less exsert, as wide to only slightly smaller than S1, and also bearing straight axial margins. Higher cycle septa (S3-4) becoming progressively less exsert, if at all. S3 dimorphic in size, being 1/3 the width of S2 or sometimes rudimentary, with dentate to laciniate axial margins. S4 arranged in a Pourtalès plan: a pair of S4 curves towards common S3 fusing before it deep in fossa, may be a 1/3 wider than S3, axial margins dentate to laciniate. Septal faces finely granular. Fossa deep, containing a massive columella usually swirled in a clockwise direction.


Regional: Southern and Eastern margin of South Africa, off Cape Padrone extending towards Kosi-Kumpungwini (Sifungwe) Estuary (17 km south of Ponta Do Ouro: Mozambique); 50-73 m. Elsewhere: Japan, China Sea (Cairns 1994); Philippines, Indonesia ( Cairns and Zibrowius 1997); Vanuatu ( Cairns 1999a); New Caledonia ( Kitahara and Cairns 2021); Australia ( Cairns 1998); New Zealand ( Cairns 1995); Red Sea (Fricke and Schuhmacher 1983); Maldives; Pemba; Tanzania ( Gardiner and Waugh 1939; Cairns and Keller 1993); 2-386 m.


Dendrophyllia arbuscula is historically known from the eastern margin of South Africa. One of the examined specimens (SAM_H3064) extends the regional distribution south towards Cape Padrone. Although Gardiner and Waugh (1939) noted the resemblance of D. horsti to D. arbuscula , an observation also made by Cairns and Keller (1993), it was only four years later that D. horsti was listed as a junior synonym of D. arbuscula (Cairns & Zibrowius, 1997). Nonetheless, based on growth form, D. arbuscula is within Cairns’ (1994) second Dendrophyllia morphological group. Two other South African congers ( D. cladonia van der Horst, 1927 and D. cornigera (Lamarck, 1816)) are known to form small and bushy colonies that originate from an axial corallite (with relatively few additional corallites to the primary), however, dissimilarities will be discussed in these species’ accounts.














Dendrophyllia arbuscula van der Horst, 1922

Filander, Zoleka N., Kitahara, Marcelo V., Cairns, Stephen D., Sink, Kerry J. & Lombard, Amanda T. 2021

Dendrophyllia horsti

Gardiner & Waugh 1939

Dendrophyllia arbuscula

van der Horst 1922


Blainville 1830