Crypthelia Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849, Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849

Cairns, Stephen D. & Zibrowius, Helmut, 2013, Stylasteridae (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Filifera) from South Africa, Zootaxa 3691 (1), pp. 1-57: 45

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Crypthelia Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849


Genus Crypthelia Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849  

Crypthelia Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849: 69   .—Boschma, 1956 a: F 100.—Cairns, 1983 a: 130; 1983 b: 492–493; 1986 a: 100– 101; 1991: 82; 1992: 540, 544 (key).—Cairns & Lindner, 2011: 81.

Type Species. Crypthelia pudica Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849   , by monotypy.

Diagnosis. Colonies usually uniplanar, with delicate branches; commensal polynoid polychaete tubes common. Coenosteal texture usually linear-imbricate; nematopores common. Gastro- and dactylopores arranged in cyclosystems, which usually occur exclusively on anterior branch face (in one species bifacial). Gastropore tubes double chambered, divided by a gastropore ring constriction; gastro- and dactylostyles absent. Gastropores covered by a lid of variable length and width. Ampullae usually superficial, female ampullae occurring in lid or proximal cyclosystem wall; male ampullae usually clustered in ring around cyclosystem wall or in lid. Efferent pores of both genders open apically or within upper gastropore chamber.

Discussion. This genus is similar to Conopora   , but distinguished by having a lid that covers all or part of the cyclosystem. There are 31 Recent and one fossil species in the genus (Appeltans, et al. 2012), making it the second most species-rich genus in the family.

Holocene Distribution. Atlantic, Indo-West Pacific, North Pacific, Galápagos, Subantarctic, 85–2789 m.