Cupressopathes cf. pumila ( Brook, 1889 ),

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: 52-54

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Cupressopathes cf. pumila ( Brook, 1889 )


Cupressopathes cf. pumila ( Brook, 1889) 

Figs. 29View FIGURE 29, 30View FIGURE 30

Antipathes pumila Brook 1889  , pl. XI, fig. 17

Cupressopathes pumila Opresko 2001, p. 356  –358.

Material examined. Entire colony, Toliara 24 m INV.131366  .

Depth range. 20–30 m.

Decription. The colony is branched and measures about 40 cm high and 25 cm wide with a basal diameter of 6.5 mm ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, a). Each branch bears four irregular rows of primary pinnules that reach up to 5 cm in length ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, b, c). Primary pinnules are inserted at an angle slightly less than 90° to the branch. The arrangement of primary pinnules does not give the typical overall bottle-brush appearance but rather a plumose aspect ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, a). There are five to seven primary pinnules along one cm of the axis, counting those on all sides ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, c). These primary pinnules can be pinnuated to 4 th order, some can be more densely pinnulated than the others ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, d–f). The subpinnules are mostly biserial but they can also be uniserial ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, e, f). Subpinnules are inserted at an acute angle to the primary pinnules with a general tendency to grow upwards, but this is not the case in many places ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, c–f). Secondary pinnules are generally less than 2.5 cm in length, but at some places they reach lengths up to 5 cm ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, e, f). Higher order pinnules are less than 1.5 cm long ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, c–f). The polyps are slightly elongated transversally; they measure 0.4–1.0 mm in transverse diameter and are spaced 0.15–0.35 mm apart, with ten polyps along one cm. Polyps are located on a single side of the branches, but they can twist around it. On thicker branches, polyps are irregularly distributed.

The spines on pinnules and subpinnules follow the general gradual change seen within this genus, from conical and horn-shaped to acicular, sharp and needle-like ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, g–n). They are finely papillose over two thirds of their height, with the papillae elongated towards the tip of the spines ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, m, n). On the subpinnules these papillae tend to appear as faint striations and the spines almost appear smooth ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, k, l). The spines are inclined upwards, which is more pronounced on abpolypar side, although on thicker branches this inclination is irregular ( Fig. 29View FIGURE 29, g–j). On a subpinnule 0.13 mm in diameter, the spines are arranged in five longitudinal rows. The polypar spines measure 0.08–0.10 mm in height and are spaced 0.12–0.20 mm apart, while the abpolypar spines measure 0.07–0.09 mm and are spaced 0.11–0.18 mm apart. On a primary pinnule of 0.28 mm, six longitudinal rows of spines can be seen. The polypar and abpolypar spines measure 0.10–0.14 mm and 0.09–0.13 mm, respectively, and they are spaced 0.10–0.19 mm and 0.10–0.18 mm, respectively. On a thick branch of 1.3 mm in diameter, the longitudinal arrangement is lost, and the spines measure up to 0.26 mm. Bifid spines can also be found on such branches.

Taxonomic remarks. The present species differs from Cupressopathes abies  in having a smaller, more flattened corallum with several of the primary pinnules developing into side branches ( Brook 1889, Opresko 2001, Fig. 30 aView FIGURE 30). The typical bottle-brushed shape of Cu.abies  is not found in this species ( Fig.30View FIGURE 30,a),as there is a tendency for its primary pinnules to have more irregular lengths along the corallum than those of Cu. abies  . In general, compared to Cu. abies  , Cu. pumila  has more branches and a longer, less dense pinnulation, with a greater tendency for the subpinnules to be bilateral. Spines are similar to those of myriopathids ( Fig. 30View FIGURE 30, b).

Distribution. India (type locality, Brook 1889), western Pacific (Opresko 2001), Madagascar (present study).














Cupressopathes cf. pumila ( Brook, 1889 )

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

Cupressopathes pumila

Opresko 2001: 356

Antipathes pumila

Brook 1889