Lovenella grandis Nutting, 1901,

Calder, Dale R., 2019, On a collection of hydroids (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) from the southwest coast of Florida, USA, Zootaxa 4689 (1), pp. 1-141: 40-41

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Lovenella grandis Nutting, 1901


Lovenella grandis Nutting, 1901 

Figs. 9View FIGURE 9 i –k

Lovenella grandis  .— Nutting, 1901: 354, fig. 45.— Joyce, 1961: 59, pl. 13, figs 3, 4, pl. 14, fig. 1.— Shier, 1965: 44, pl. 24.

Lovenella gracilis  .— Joyce, 1961: 59, pl. 14, figs. 2, 3.— Shier, 1965: 42, pl. 23 [not Lovenella gracilis Clarke, 1882  ].

Type locality. USA: Rhode Island, Newport Harbor, off Castle Hill ( Nutting 1901: 354)  .

Material examined. Fort Myers Beach, on tests of dead sand dollars ( Mellita quinquiesperforata  ), near low water, 19 January 2018, several colony fragments, up to 3 mm high, without gonothecae, coll. D. Calder, ROMIZ B4354.

Non-Florida material examined. USA: South Carolina, Murrells Inlet , inner channel, 22 May 1975, coll. D. Calder, ROMIZ B1549  .— USA: Massachusetts, Nantucket Sound , E of Chop Light, 41°27.425’N, 70°31.591’W. 12 m, 15 October 2001, on shell, coll. D. Calder, ROMIZ B3500GoogleMaps  .

Remarks. Lovenella grandis Nutting, 1901  , collected infrequently, is poorly known. Originally described from Rhode Island, the species has been reported thus far only from a few locations along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Its known geographic range extends from the Woods Hole region, Massachusetts ( Hargitt 1908; Sumner et al. 2013), to central Florida ( Calder 2013) along the east coast, and from southwest Florida (this study) to Texas ( Defenbaugh & Hopkins 1973, as Lovenella gracilis  ) in the Gulf of Mexico. The hydroid has been found earlier on the Gulf coast of Florida ( Joyce 1961; Shier 1965). If Calycella gabriellae Vannucci, 1951  is conspecific, the species extends into the Caribbean Sea ( Wedler 2017b) and southwards to Brazil ( Oliveira et al. 2016).

The distribution of L. grandis  partly overlaps that of the related L. gracilis Clarke, 1882  . As noted in the Remarks section on L. gracilis  immediately above, trophosomes of the two are easy to distinguish. In L. grandis  , hydrothecae are much deeper than those of its supposed congener, and a clearly-defined sinuous crease separates its operculum from the hydrothecal margin. Nevertheless, misidentifications in the influential publications of Fraser (1912b, 1944) have lead to confusion over characters of the two species. Details are summarized in remarks on L. gracilis  and need not be repeated here.

Hydroids of L. grandis  also resemble those of L. clausa ( Lovén, 1836)  from the eastern North Atlantic, but differ most obviously in having a hydrocaulus comprised of internodes that are divided into a series of cylindrical segments instead of being annulated to sinuous. Neither Nutting (1901a) nor Fraser (1941, 1944) mentioned or illustrated the segmented hydrocaulus of this species, much like that of L. gracilis  . However, specimens exam- ined during this study from South Carolina ( Fig. 9jView FIGURE 9), Massachusetts ( Fig. 9kView FIGURE 9), and the Atlantic coast of Florida, as well as those from southwest Florida reported here, all believed identical with L. grandis  , exhibited this unusual character.

The life cycle of L. grandis  has yet to be described in detail. Blastostyles of the gonosome produce medusa buds ( Fraser 1941), but the hydroid has not yet been linked to a known medusa. In my report on hydroids from the Atlantic coast of Florida ( Calder 2013), I stated in error that Nutting (1901) had described the gonosome, but he observed only the trophosome. The comments I quoted from Nutting were taken from his diagnosis of the genus Lovenella Hincks, 1868  [1869] and not from his description of the species.

Hydroids of L. grandis  have been reported from various substrates including shells ( Joyce 1961: 60; Shier 1965: 121; Calder 2013: 14), the tracheophyte Syringodium ( Shier 1965: 119)  , tests of the sand dollar Mellita quinquiesperforata  ( Joyce 1961: 60; this study), and exoskeletons of the horseshoe crab Limulus ( Shier 1965: 121)  . Joyce (1961) reported that almost every dead test of M. quinquiesperforata  examined by him from the Seahorse Key area of Florida had colonies of the species. Hydroids identified as L. gracilis  by Defenbaugh & Hopkins (1973), but believed here to have been L. grandis  , were reported from shells of gastropods and bivalves, and from shell fragments. Specimens of L. grandis  have been found on the Florida Gulf coast during summer ( Joyce 1961: July, August), autumn ( Shier 1965: September–December), winter (this study: January), and spring (Shier 1961: April, May).

Reported distribution. Gulf coast of Florida. Seahorse Key ( Joyce 1961: 59).—Seahorse Key ( Joyce 1961: 61, as Lovenella gracilis  ).— Cape San Blas area ( Shier 1965: 42 (part), as Lovenella gracilis  ).— Cape San Blas area ( Shier 1965: 44).

Elsewhere in western North Atlantic. USA: Rhode Island, Newport Harbor, off Castle Hill ( Nutting 1901: 354).— USA: Massachusetts, Woods Hole ( Hargitt 1908: 112).— USA: North Carolina, Bogue Sound, 10 feet (3 m) ( Fraser 1912b: 364, as Lovenella clausa  ).— USA: Massachusetts, Marthas Vineyard, Kopeecon Point, 6-7.5 ftm (11–14 m) (Sumner et al. 2013: 571).— USA: Rhode Island, Sakonnet River, near mouth, 10.5 ftm (19 m) ( Fraser 1941: 83).—? USA: Rhode Island, off Newport ( Fraser 1944: 174, as Lovenella gracilis  ).—? USA: North Carolina, off Cape Hatteras, 35°20’40”N, 75°18’40”W, 16 ftm (29 m) ( Fraser 1944: 174, as Lovenella gracilis  ).— USA: Texas, Galveston Bay area ( Defenbaugh 1972: 387).—? USA: Texas, off Galveston ( Defenbaugh & Hopkins 1973: 94, as Lovenella gracilis  ).— USA: Texas, Galveston Island, off West Beach, 30 feet (9 m) ( Defenbaugh & Hopkins 1973: 95).— USA: South Carolina, Murrells Inlet ( Calder & Hester 1978: 90, as Lovenella  sp.).— USA: Florida, off St. Lucie Inlet, 27°08.5’N, 80°01.6’W, 32 m ( Calder 2013: 14).— USA: South Carolina, Murrells Inlet, Main Creek, 33°32’51”N, 79°01’27”W + 33°33’14”N, 79°01’20”W ( Calder 2013: 14).— USA: Massachusetts, Nantucket Sound off Martha’s Vineyard, east of East Chop Lighthouse, 41°27.425’N, 70°31.591’W, 12 m ( Calder 2013: 14).—?Caribbean Sea: on Thalassia  , 3–10 m ( Wedler 2017b: 101, figs. 92A, B, as Calycella gabriellae  ).














Lovenella grandis Nutting, 1901

Calder, Dale R. 2019

Lovenella gracilis

Shier, C. F. 1965: 42
Joyce, E. A. Jr. 1961: 59

Lovenella grandis

Shier, C. F. 1965: 44
Joyce, E. A. Jr. 1961: 59
Nutting, C. C. 1901: 354