Cirrhipathes rumphii van Pesch, 1910,

Terrana, Lucas, Bo, Marzia, Opresko, Dennis M. & Eeckhaut, Igor, 2020, Shallow-water black corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Antipatharia) from SW Madagascar, Zootaxa 4826 (1), pp. 1-62: 33-35

publication ID

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Cirrhipathes rumphii van Pesch, 1910


Cirrhipathes rumphii van Pesch, 1910 

Figs. 19View FIGURE 19, 20View FIGURE 20

Eucirripathes rumphii van Pesch 1910, p.170  –174, figs.245–249

Cirrhipathes rumphii Zou & Zhou 1982, p.87  , pl.15–4, figs. 9–11

Material examined. Distal fragments from two colonies. Ifaty 20 m specimen INV.131361, Andavadoaka 20 m specimen INV.131345.

Depth range. 25–45 m.

Description. A thin, single stem colony with the upper part having large dextral coils ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, a, b), which can be loose in some colonies. Colonies are growing either horizontaly at some point ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, a, b) or more vertically ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, c). The colonies analyzed reach about 1.8 m in height and starts to coil at about 50 cm from the seafloor. The pitches are about 40 cm and the coils have a diameter of about 20 cm. The skeleton of the basal part is about 2.5 mm in diameter, the one of the distal part is 1.5 mm in diameter. The coral shows a brown coenenchyme with white polyps partially arranged on only one side of the colony, but never in a single row ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, d). Polyps measure up to 2.5 mm in transverse diameter and they all sit close to each other so that the coenenchyme between polyps is sometimes not visible, but their mutual distance can be up to 1.9 mm ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, d), with 3-4 found per cm. In vivo, the extended tentacles are long with round tips.

On the apical growing portion measuring 1.26 mm in diameter before it tapers, the spines are small, triangular, laterally compressed, smooth, and either simple or with a few distinct knobs at the apex ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, e, h). They measure 0.04–0.10 mm and their mutual distance is 0.25–0.52 mm. The spines are arranged in quincunx in the distal part measuring 1.22 mm in diameter ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, f) and 11–12 rows can be seen from one aspect. On the polypar side, the spines are conical to cylindrical, have a large base with a roughly blunt apex, and measure 0.15-0.23 mm high ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, f, g, j). They are very finely papillose with the tip having many tubercles, and sometimes they can be bifid at the top ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, k). The abpolypar spines are papillose, tend to be more conical with a sharper tip having many tubercles as well ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, i), with a height of 0.11–0.16 mm. In any case, the spines are laterally compressed ( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19, e–k). The mutual distance between spines varies between 0.15 and 0.51 mm.

Taxonomic remarks. This species was originally described from the Indonesian Archipelago by van Pesch (1910). He did not designate a holotype and based his description on six specimens, of which three are lost and one is missing from the register of the Siboga collection ( Bo et al. 2009). The two remaining specimens belong to two different species, one belonging to the recently described species Pseudocirrhipathes mapia Bo et al., 2009  (specimen Coel. 02599b from the Zoological Museum of Amsterdam, see Bo et al. 2009) and the other belonging to Cirrhipathes rumphii  (specimen Coel. 02599a, from the Zoological Museum of Amsterdam, see Bo et al. 2009, schizotype USNM 100412, Fig. 20View FIGURE 20). The most important difference between these two species apart from spine morphology is the spine arrangement in verticils in intermediate and distal parts of P. mapia  , a feature that Ci. rumphii  never presents ( Bo et al. 2009). The description of the present specimen recalls the one originally made pro-parte for Coel. 02599a by van Pesch (1910) and analyzed by Bo et al. (2009). The higher level of tuberculation observed here is consistent with an apical-central portion of the stem, while less tubercules and more compressed spines, as observed in Coel. 02599a, are consistent with the tip of the colony. Regionalization and age in this species are very important. Spines in distal portions can be less tuberculated (or not at all) and compressed as in Coel. 02599a, while extremely distal spines do not present any knobs because these are newly formed spines (Fig. 120, b, d). The color of the present specimen matches up with the two phenotypes known for this species, brown and white, or total orange.

Distribution. Indonesia (type locality, van Pesch 1910; Rumphius, see Bayer 1959; Bo et al. 2009), South and North Pacific Ocean ( Bo et al. 2009), Sri Lanka ( Thomson & Simpson 1905), China ( Zou & Zhou 1982), Madagascar (present study).














Cirrhipathes rumphii van Pesch, 1910

Terrana, Lucas, Bo, Marzia, Opresko, Dennis M. & Eeckhaut, Igor 2020

Cirrhipathes rumphii

Zou & Zhou 1982: 87

Eucirripathes rumphii

van Pesch 1910: 170