Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Atoll of Funafuti, Ellice group : its zoology, botany, ethnology and general structure based on collections made by Charles Hedley of the Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W.

Family Alcyonidæ

Family Alcyonidæ.

Sarcophytum glaucum, Quoy & Gaim.

Sarcophytum glaucum, Quoy & Gaim., Voy. Astrolabe, Zoophytes, iv., p. 270, pl. xxii., figs. 11-12; Marenzeller, Zool. Jahrb., Bd. i., 1886, p. 352, pl. ix., fig. 12; Wright & Studer, Chall. Rep., Zool., xxxi., p. 248, pl. xlii., fig. 3.

Four well preserved specimens, with the polyps mostly extended.

page 215
Sarcophytum Trocheliop Horum, var.Amboinense,Marenz.

Sarcophytum trocheliophorum, var. amboinense, Marenz., Zool. Jahrb., Bd. i., 1886, p. 361, pl. ix., fig. 6; Wright & Studer, Chall. Rep., Zool., xxxi., p. 249, pl. xli., fig. 11.

One small specimen, the polyps are quite retracted, the sipho-nozooids are distinct and disposed in circles. The short thick spicules are characteristic of this form. (See fig. 6c on Maren-zeller's plate.)

Sarcophytum latum, Dana.

(Plate x., figs, la-f.)

Alcyonium latum, Dana, Zooph. U.S. Explor. Exped., pl. lviii., figs. 6, a, b, b; Synop. Rep. Zooph., 1859, p. 125.

The single example obtained, differs slightly from the type as figured by Dana; it is smaller, more depressed, and the lobes are fewer.

The sterile column is well developed, it is 55 mm. high at its highest point, and 30 mm. at its lowest; the surface is longitu-dinally sulcate and very harsh to the touch.

The capitular margin is a little swollen, but not at all revolute, the upper surface generally presents a minutely beaded appear-ance, due to the elevation of the walls surrounding the orifices of the polyps.

The autozooids, which are 1 mm. apart, are encircled by six or seven siphonozooids, the latter being also common to the encircling series of adjoining autozooids, as shown in Dana's fig. 6a.

The cænenchyma spicules are abundant, and consist of fus-form, and of subcylindrical spindles, studded with whorled, granular, or spiny tubercles. Size—·3 by ·08, ·4 by ·1, ·3 by ·15, ·35 by ·15 mm. In addition to these, there are a few crosses and comparatively smooth spiny spindles.

The spicules of the cortex are tuberculated clubs, which form a very dense crust, they are variable at the blunt end, some are broad and others obliquely pointed. Size—·12 by ·03, ·2 by ·04mm.

The specimen has the same general shape as that figured by Dana, consisting of two subfoliate expansions; there is evidently an error in fig. 7, the right half having the sterile column coloured and dotted to represent polyps similar to those on the capitular surface.

The spirit specimen is dark stone colour.

page 216
Lobophytum pauciflorum, Ehr., Var. Validum, Marenz.

Lobophytum pauciflorum, Ehr., var. validum, Marenz., Zool. Jahrb., Bd. i., p. 367, pl. ix., fig. 12, a, b, c.

One specimen 80 mm. long by 52 mm. wide, the sterile column is 25 mm. high, with a somewhat even surface, excepting at one point, where it exhibits a few transverse wrinkles.

The capitular margin is slightly thickened, and a little revolute in some parts.

The lobes of the capitulum are abruptly rounded at the summits, they are about ten in number and vary from 15 to 25 mm. in height, 15 to 40 mm. in width, and from 7 to 10 mm. in their least diameter.

The autozooids are 2 mm. apart, the walls surrounding the orifices are slightly raised, and a shade darker in colour than the rest of the surface.

The siphonozooids are numerous, small, and scarcely visible to the unassisted eye; there are from five to seven between two autozooids.

The spicules do not differ from those figured by Marenzeller. The specimen in spirits is a dark stone colour.

Lobophytum hedleyi, sp. nov.
(Plate x., figs. 2a-h.)

There are three examples, exhibiting great variation in the lobation of the capitulum.

In the larger specimen the sterile column is complete, rigid, and harsh to the touch, longitudinally plicate, and measures 50 mm. in diameter and 35 mm. in height.

The capitulum consists of about twelve subflabellate lobes from 20 to 40 mm. high, 25 to 45 mm. wide, and from 5 to 8 mm. thick.

The primary lobes are divided into three or four secondary lobes, 10 to 15 mm. high, and 5 to 10 mm. wide. Many of the broader lobes have a longitudinal fold commencing at the base and continued to the subtruncate apex.

In the two smaller examples, both the primary and secondary lobes are much narrower, the latter often digitate, compressed, or subcylindrical, with evenly rounded summits, the wider lobes exhibit a rather broad median longitudinal groove on at least one side; on the widest lobes the grooves are present on both sides. The primary lobes are from 8 to 30 mm. wide, 10 to 25 mm. high, and from 3 to 7 mm. thick; the secondaries from 5 to 20 mm. high, 5 to 10 mm. wide, and from 2 to 5 mm. in their narrow diameter.

page 217

The autozooids are very irregularly disposed; they are few in number, and on the central regions of the lobes separated from each other by wide intervals. On the margins and summits of the lobes they are closer, and about 1 to 2 mm. or evenless apart.

The siphonozooids are numerous, distinct, and plainly visible to the unassisted eye; between the widely separated autozooids there are as many as twelve, whilst on the margins, where the autozooids are crowded, they are fewer and disposed in circles.

The spicules of the cænenchyma consist of—

(1.)Straight rather acute ended spindles, the smaller of which are often unequal and subclavate. The tubercles are in whorls and somewhat minutely spinose. Size—·15 by ·03, ·3 by ·09 mm.
(2.)Short, stout, subcylindrical, with from four to six whorls of spiny tubercles. Size—·15 by ·07, ·2 by 1 mm.

In addition to the foregoing there are numerous spiny spindles and some crosses. The spicules of the cortex are rather narrow tuberculated clubs. Size—·12 by ·02, ·15 by ·05 mm.

The colour in spirits is umber.

Reg. No. G. 1537.

Lobophytum Marenzelleri, Wright & Studer,

Lobophytum marenzelleri, Wright & Studer, Chall. Rep., Zool. xxxi, p. 251, pl. xlii., fig. 1.

One specimen of an oval shape, 80 mm. long and 40 mm. wide. Only a small portion of the sterile column remains, it is 30 mm. high. The lobation of the capitulum, autozooids, siphonozooids and spicules, agree with the published description.

The specimen is of a yellowish-white colour.

Lobophytum tuberculosum, Quoy & Gaim.
(Plate xi, figs. 3a-f.)

Lobophytum tuberculosum, Quoy & Gaim., Voy. Astrolabe, Zooph., iv., p. 274, pl. xxiii., figs. 4-5.

In a small example referred to this species the sterile stem is mostly torn away, the remaining portion is 15 mm. high and 25 mm. wide.

The capitulum is 80 mm. long, 60 mm. wide, and 20 mm. high.

There are seven primary lobes arising from the expanded base, each bearing from five to twenty secondary round, oblong, or subreniform lobes, their height seldom exceeding their lesser diameter.

The autozooids are crowded, with the margins of the orifices deeply sunk, they are from ·5 to 1 mm. apart.

page 218

The siphonozooids are exceedingly minute and the orifices difficult to see even with a strong lens. Their number is from two to four between two antozooids.

The spicules of the cænenchyma are straight, or curved, irregularly tuberculated spindles, displaying great variation in outline; some are cylindrical to within a short distance of the ends, where they taper rapidly to rather blunt points, others are clavate with the narrow end acute, and a few taper gradually to acute points. Size—·5 by ·12, 2. by ·4mm.

The cortical spicules are small clubs with tuberculate heads and spiny sharply pointed shafts. Size—·15 by ·04, ·25 by ·07 mm. There are also a few smooth or slightly spiny spindles; crosses have not been observed. The colour in spirits is yellowish-gray.

Lobophytum confertum, Dana.
(Plate xi., figs. 5a-e.)

Lobophytum confertum, Dana, U. S. Explor. Exped., Zooph., pl. lvii, fig. 7, a, b; Synop. Rep. Zooph., 1859, p. 125.

One specimen in which the sterile column is absent is with some hesitation referred to this species. The colony is very hard to the touch, and densely charged with large spicules, which can be seen with the unaided eye projecting from the broken surfaces.

The capitulum consists of eight or nine main lobes, upon which are situated a large number of secondary lobes, varying greatly in shape; on the basal expansion they are subcylindrical or compressed and are from 4 to 15 mm. high, and 3 to 5 mm. thick. Along the sides of the primaries the secondaries form low ridges which extend in a more or less broken manner from the bases to the summits, they are about as high as broad. The apical and subapical lobes are very variable, scarcely any two being alike; they may be round, trigonous, or much compressed, with a slight longitudinal groove, and the margins folded towards each other; they are from 5 to 15 mm. high, 3 to 10 mm. in their broad, and from 3 to 5 mm. in their narrow diameter.

The autozooids are evenly distributed, the marginal walls of the orifices deeply sunk; they are tolerably uniformly spaced, being 1 mm. apart.

The siphonozooids are so minute that a high magnifying lens fails to render them visible.

The cænenchyma exhibits when viewed in transverse section a large number of canals from ·5 to 2 mm. in diameter; the walls are thickly charged with very large tuberculate spindles.

The tubercles are small, close, rather indistinctly whorled and minutely granular; some of the larger spicules have spines only,page 219they appear to be less opaque than those bearing tubercles, and the spines can be seen radiating from the axial region of the spicule.

The spicules of the cænenchyma vary considerably, and may be enumerated as follows:—

(1.)Large, curved or rarely straight, very variable both in the amount of curvature, and the acuteness of the points; most of those evenly curved, whether boomerang, bow or f-shaped, have moderately sharp points, whilst those unequally curved usually have one end blunt. Size—1·7 by ·25, 2·5 by ·4 mm.
(2.)Straight, fusiform, equally tapering to sharp points. Size—1·4 by ·22 mm.
(3.)Straight, subcylindrical, with rounded ends. Size—·8 by 15 mm.
(4.)Large, straight, or curved, fusiform with spines only. Size—1·4 by ·22, 2. by 45 mm.

The cortical spicules consist of:—

(1.)Comparatively smooth fusiform spindles, with small tubercles or spines. Size—·45 by ·08 mm.
(2.)Straight, spiny, almost cylindrical. Size—·35 by ·05 mm.
(3.)Clubs with tuberculate heads and long spiny shafts. Size—·2 by ·04, ·25 by ·05 mm.

The colour is coffee-brown, but this may be due to staining caused by contact with other objects in the cask in which the specimen was preserved. This is highly probable, as a second example which at first sight was thought to be distinct, proves to be the same, or perhaps a variety.

The colour of the second specimen is pale glaucus or sage green, the primary lobes are not so high, the secondary lobes are shorter, thicker, and mostly in contact, each lobe being adapted to the shape of contiguous lobes. A small portion of the barren stem is present and exhibits a few longitudinal plications, but it is comparatively smooth to the touch. Other characters, such as the size of the autozooids, their distance apart, the rudimentary siphonozooids, and the spicules, are very similar, and offer no marked points of difference.

Lobophytum Densum, Sp. nov.
(Plate xi., figs. 4a-h.)

The colony is 70 mm. long, 45 mm. wide, and 60 mm. high. About half of the sterile column is wanting, the height of the remaining portion varies from 15 to 35 mm. in height. The cænenchyma is thickly charged with large spicules, giving the stem when viewed in transverse section a solid appearance, the longitudinal canals are not perceptible to the unassisted eye.

page 220

The capitulum consists of numerous digitate lobes, mostly-simple, but some of the larger centrally situated give off from three to five secondaries. The lobes are more or less compressed with obtusely rounded summits, they are from 5 to 35 mm. high, 4 to 12 mm. in their narrow, and 7 to 15 in their broad diameter.

The autozooids are few and distant at the bases of the lobes, elsewhere they are evenly distributed, and are from ·5 to 1. mm. apart.

The siphonozooids are minute, and the orifices difficult to distinguish even with a strong lens.

The cænenchyma spicules are very large, and exist in such numbers that the colony is almost of stony hardness. They usually consist of straight or but little curved tuberculated spindles, somewhat thick in the middle and tapering to sharp points, some few have one end blunt, and occasionally branched; the "tubercles are irregularly disposed.

The measurements of the spicules are as follows:—

(1.)Large, fusiform, with simple spine-like tubercles, and usually with a transverse median constriction. Size,—1. by ·2, 2·4 by ·5.
(2.)Large, fusiform, subcylindrical or subclavate, closely tuber-culate, the tubercles are thickly studded with minute spiny warts. Size-—·8 by ·2, 14 by ·35, 2· by ·5, 4· by ·9 mm.
(3.)Smaller fusiform, strongly but distantly tuberculate. Size—·35 by ·1, ·65 by ·15mm.
(4.)Small fusiform, comparatively smooth, with spines. Size—·5 by ·09, ·6 by ·1 mm.

The cortical spicules consist of short spiny spindles and clubs.

(1.)Spindles: Size—·25 by ·03.
(2.)Clubs: Size—1 by ·03, ·13 by ·03mm.

The colour in spirits is pale brown, with the grooves and pits darker.

Reg. No. G. 1541.

Lobularia (?) viride, Quoy & Gaim.
(Plate xii., figs. 6a-d.)

Alcyonum viride, Quoy & Gaim., Voy. 1'Astrolabe, iv., p. 272, pl. xxiii., figs. 22-23.

Ten specimens, very soft and flexible, displaying great varia-tion in the terminal lobes, some being cylindrical, others broad and compressed or forming a series of rounded undulations on the summits of the flabellate branches.

The sterile column in a perfect example is largely developed, it is 60 mm. high and 50 mm. in diameter.

page 221

The capitulum consists of five primary branches from 20 to 50 mm. wide, 20 to 40 mm. high, and from 5 to 8 mm. thick. The secondary lobes are from 8 to 30 mm. high, 7 to 25 mm. wide, and from 3 to 7 mm. thick, with broadly rounded apices.

In another example the primary branches are from 50 to 75 mm. wide, 20 to 50 mm. high, and from 5 to 7 mm. thick, the upper margins having only slight indications of lobes, the central primary branch has nine low rounded elevations, the highest being 10 mm. high and about the same in width.

The autozooids are irregularly disposed from 1 to 5 mm. apart, and are much closer together on margins and apices of the lobes than on the intervening spaces.

The siphonozooids are numerous, large and visible to the unaided eye, varying greatly as to the number between the autozooids; usually there are two or three to 1 mm.

The cœnenchyma of the steriie stem and of the capitulum is charged with similar spicules, and I have been unable to detect any special dermal layer in the capitulum. There exists a cortical layer of spicules on the barren stem, consisting of small almost smooth clubs with very few tubercles, and some short irregularly shaped spindles with blunt ends.

The cœnenchyma spicules are as follows:—

(1.)Tuberculed spindles with the tubercles in well marked zones. Size—·.2 by ·.05, ·.35 by ·.1mm.
(2.)Short, subcylindrical, with from four to six whorls of tubercles. Size—·.19 by ·.08, ·.23 by 1 mm.

Cortical spicules of the sterile column:—

(1.)Smooth spindles, with a few low rounded tubercles. Size—·.1 by ·.02 mm.
(2.)Clubs with smooth tubercles. Size—·.15 by ·.03mm.

The colour in spirits is olive-gray.

There are two small specimens which differ in being of a delicate greenish-yellow, and the sterile stem is rougher to the touch, but the other characters appear to be the same, and the spicules are indistinguishable from those of the typical form.