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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.

[XVI.] — The Hydrozoa, Scyphozoa, Actinozoa, and Vermes of Funafuti. — By Thomas Whitelegge, — Zoologist, Australian Museum

page 371

The Hydrozoa, Scyphozoa, Actinozoa, and Vermes of Funafuti.
By Thomas Whitelegge,
Zoologist, Australian Museum.

The collection has provided material for much work, and the results obtained are of considerable interest; they may be summarised as follows:—There are only two Hydroid Zoophytes in the collection, both of which prove to be new species, i.e., Thuiaria divergens and Plumularia clavicula. The latter is of unusual interest, in as much as it exhibits characters of rare occurrence in the group. The apices of the branches are modified into tendrils, and the corbulæ are of a very primitive type, having a slightly modified hydrotheca at the base of each costa.

The Hydrocorallines are represented by four species of Mille-pores:—Millepora squarrosa, var. incrassata, Dana; M. platyphylla, Ehr.; M. nodosa, Esper.; and M. tortuosa, Dana.

Of the order Siphonophora, there is only one representative, i.e., Physalia megalista, Lamk., of which there are numerous examples. These have been carefully examined and compared with local material and also with specimens of Physalia utriculus, Eschscholtz.

Attention is called to the occurrence of secondary tentacles in the basal groups of cormidia in both species; a character which has hitherto escaped observation. The specimens from Funafuti and numerous local examples, both living and preserved, have been utilized with a view to render their identification less difficult in the future. In order to accomplish this, the pneumatophore was carefully measured, the colour noted, and the number of appendages counted. The results of an examination of thirty-four specimens are given in tabular form, from which it will be seen that the two forms are very distinct.

The class Scyphozoa is represented by two species—Aurelia clausa, Lesson; and Phyllorhiza orithyia, Haeckel.

Of Actinozoa there are six species in the collection, three of which are herein described as new, one belonging to the order page 372Antipatharia (Antipathella brooki), and two to the order Actin-aria ( Zoanthus funafutiensis, and Gemmaria willeyi). The remaining three are Palythoa howesii, Hadd. & Shack.; P. kochii, Hadd. & Shack.; and P. cæsia, Dana.

The Actinaria have been worked out in conjunction with Mr. J. P. Hi)], of the Sydney University, who kindly cut the sections and examined the internal structure; he is, therefore, jointly with myself, responsible for this portion of the publication.

The Vermes are represented by three species of Polychœta, two species of Perichœta, and five species of Gephyrea. They are as follows:—Eurythoë complanata, Pallas; E.pacifica, var. levukænsis, Mcintosh; Phyllodoce, sp.; Perichæta grubei, Rosa, P. sp.; Phy-mosoma nigrescens, Keferst; P. scoleps, Sel. & de Mann; Aspido-siphon elegans, Cham. & Eysenn.; A. steenstrupii, Diesing; and Cleosiphon aspergillum, Quartref.