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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.

[IX.] — The Enteropneusta. Part1

page 205

The Enteropneusta. Part1

The Collection of Enteropneusta brought by Mr. Charles Hedley from Funafuti, and which I have had the privilege of examining through the kindness of Mr. R. Etheridge, Junr., Curator of the Museum, comprises two distinct and widely separated species belonging to the genus Ptychodera.

One of these species is identical with a species found by Dr. Arthur Willey at three distinct localities in the New Caledonian Archipelago, and of which he has already communicated an account to the "Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science."* Dr. Willey has most kindly sent me his collection for comparison with that made by Mr. Hedley, together with an account of his observations. I am thus enabled to speak definitely on the identity of these two forms. Willey has referred the species concerned provisionally to Ptychodera flava, Eschscholtz,* recorded from the Romanzoff Group of the Marshall Archipelago in 1825, and has suggested that until the Marshall Islands' form is re-examined it might be advisable to call the New Caledonian form P. flava caledonica, or simply P. caledonica. Now, however, that the same form has been found to occur at such a distinct and widely separated, but intermediate locality as Funafuti, Willey proposes (in litt.) to drop the name caledonica, and to regard the species, provisionally at least, as P. flava, Eschsch., in the amended sense.

The specimens of this species obtained by Mr. Hedley do not exceed 3 inches in length. Willey gives 21/2 inches as the maximum length of unextended specimens obtained at the islet of Amédée, close to Noumea, while specimens found by him later at

* In the press.

* J. W. Spengel—Die Enteropneusten des Golfes von Neapel, etc. Fauna u. Flora des Golfes von Neapel, 1893. pp. 190-1, fig. P.

page 206Lifu, in the Loyalty Islands, were much larger, extending to 7 or 8 inches in length, (in litt.).

The other species in the Funafuti collection is new to science. I propose to associate it with the name of Mr. Hedley.