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Tuatara: Volume 6, Issue 2, December 1956

Seafloor Animals from the Region of Portobello Marine Biological Station, Otago Harbour

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Seafloor Animals from the Region of Portobello Marine Biological Station, Otago Harbour


This paper is a guide to the commoner seafloor animals to be found in the area surrounding the Portobello Marine Station, and is written with two objectives in mind. It is designed, firstly, to give a quick source of general information to the specialist wishing to make detailed ecological studies of the seafloor of Otago Harbour, and secondly as an introduction to the fauna of this and other similar regions for school and college pupils and those interested in natural history regardless of technical knowledge. Accordingly, scientific terminology is kept to a minimum, and as many of the animals as possible are illustrated in the belief that everyone finds it easier to make an initial identification from a ‘picture’ rather than from words.

As Otago is a shallow water harbour, specimens of the animals can be obtained fairly easily either by the use of a spade and a little digging or by towing a small naturalist's dredge behind a well-built dinghy fitted with an outboard motor. When the initial work was undertaken in 1952 by a group of senior students from Victoria University College, skin-diving had not attained the prominence it has to-day, so that all the material was obtained by the two methods mentioned above. Those fortunate enough to possess underwater diving gear now have the additional advantage and pleasure of observing the assemblies of animals in their natural habit.

The positions of the original ‘digs’ and ‘dredgings’ are shown in the map facing page 58. All the material was roughly sorted by washing with seawater through four nested wire-mesh sieves. The top sieve had a mesh of 2 squares per linear inch, the next 5, then 12, and the bottom one 16.

It quickly became apparent that animals dredged from the deeper channels were different from those dredged or dug on the sandy or muddy banks. The ‘Venus’ shell Austrovenus stutchburyi is very common in dredgings from Station 1, and great heaps of dead corroded shells of this animal are conspicuous on the north-east corner of the large sand bank lying to the west of Quarantine Island. Other animals frequently associated with page 58 the Venus Shell are burrowing worms and tube worms, and the small burrowing crustaceans Callianassa and Lysiosquilla. All these animals and more are described below under the heading ‘Austrovenus association’. In the deeper channels between the sand banks the gastropod turret shell Maoricolpus roseus roseus is the most conspicuous shell fish, and accordingly these animals and others found living in the same habitat are described below under ‘Maoricolpus association’.

It will be appreciated that there can be no sharp line drawn between the intertidal Austrovenus association of the sand banks and the Maoricolpus association in the channels, and that they grade one into the other. At high tide, mobile animals such as fish, octopus, starfish, etc., are likely to occur on the sand banks and in the water above them, as well as in the deeper channels.

Since the original work in 1952 additional information from several sources has been obtained and incorporated in the present paper. Furthemore, although the paper is descriptive of seafloor animals in the vicinity of the Portobello Marine Station, many of them will also be found where similar seafloor conditions exist in other regions of the harbour and in other parts of the country.

Before describing the species themselves, a brief but more detailed account of the above associations and a list of all the species taken for each station is given for those who may wish to make this the basis for an ecological study.

1. Austrovenus Association

A. Austrovenus — Macomona + Arenicola (Station 10).

This association was found in the sand banks between about two feet above and probably extends below mean low water. Typically, the substratum is fine sand and mud, black just below the surface, and with low concentration of the macroscopic fauna. The dominants are the bivalves Austrovenus stutchburyi, Macomona liliana, and the sedentary polychaete Arenicola assimilis var. affinis. Amphipods, Echinoderms and Ascidians are characteristically absent from this association, while two crustacea, the anomuran Callianassa filholi and the stomatopod Lysiosquilla spinosa form charactertic vertical open-mouthed burrows in the sand.


  • Polychaeta:
    • Errant

    • Glycera americana (Leidy).

    • Sedentary

    • Heterocirrus sp.

    • Arenicola assimilis var. affinis Ashworth.

  • Crustacea:
    • Decapoda

    • Callianassa filholi A. M.-Edwards.

    • Stomatopoda

    • Lysiosquilla spinosa Wood-Mason.

  • Mollusca:
    • Pelecypoda (Bivalves)

    • Austrovenus stutchburyi (Gray).

    • Macomona liliana (Iredale).

    • Solemya parkinsoni A. Smith.

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Otago Harbour Portobello & Environs

Otago Harbour
Portobello & Environs

B. Austrovenus + Macomona + Polychaetes (Station 8).

This differs from the typical Austrovenus association as described above in having Arenicola replaced by the polychaetes Aglaophamus macroura and Aricia sp. The presence of the polychaete Platynereis australis and the gastropod Micrelenchus tenebrosus, both commonly found in the Maoricolpus association, may indicate that this should be regarded as an ecotone between the Austrovenus and Maoricolpus associations. However, the presence of four polychaetes found at this and no other station marks Station 8 collection as distinct. The small page 60 sea-anemone Anthopleura aureoradiata was commonly found attached to shells.


  • Coelenterata:
    • Actiniaria

    • Anthopleura aureoradiata Stucky.

  • Polychaeta:
    • Errant

    • Platynereis australis (Schmarda).

    • Aglaophamus macroura (Schmarda).

    • Sedentary

    • Aricia sp.

    • Polydora sp.

    • Axiothella sp.

  • Mollusca:
    • Gastropoda

    • Zediloma (Fractarmilla) corrosa (A. Adams).

    • Micrelenchus tenebrosus (A. Adams).

    • Cominella (Cominista) glandiformis (Reeve).

    • Pelecypoda

    • Austrovenus stutchburyi (Gray).

    • Macomona liliana (Iredale).

    • Cephalopoda

    • Robsonella australis (Hoyle).

2. Maoricolpus Association (Stations 2 to 7). Worthy of note is the strong tidal current present at Station 6.

Maoricolpus + Harmothoë + Ophiomyxa.

This association was found in the channels on a shell sand bottom varying from half to two fathoms below mean low water, and probably extends to a greater depth than this in deeper areas of the harbour. The substratum consists of a mass of broken shell fragments and shell sand, the latter characteristically including among the microfauna the minute gastropod Chemnitzia zealandica. The dominants in this association are the gastropod Maoricolpus r. roseus, the errant polychaete Harmothoë praeclara, and the small pink ophiuroid Ophiomyxa brevirima. The errant, but tubiculous polychaete Podarke angustifrons is locally abundant and is present at nearly every station. It forms tubes of sand grains and small pieces of shell. As well as Ophiomyxa, three other small ophiuroids, viz. Amphipholis squamata, Amphiura amokurae and Amphiura annulifera, are found at some stations, the former being the most abundant. Amphipods of the genus Parawaldeckia (4 species) and the two crabs Halicarcinus cooki and Hemiplax hirtipes, are present at every station of the Maoricolpus association.


  • Porifera:
    • Leucandra sp., Stations 2 and 7.

  • Polychaeta:
    • Errant

    • Harmothoë praeclara (Haswell), Stn. 2, 4 to 7.

    • Lepidonotus jacksoni Kinberg, Stn. 6.

    • Nereis jacksoni Kinberg, Stn. 2, 4, 6 and 7.

    • Neanthes cricognatha (Ehlers), Stn. 4 and 5.

    • Platynereis australis (Schmarda), Stn. 4 and 6.

    • Podarke angustifrons (Grube), Stn. 2, 4, 5 and 7.

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    • Odontosyllis polycera Schmarda, Stn. 6 and 7.

    • Dorvillea australiensis (Mclntosh), Stn. 2, 5 and 7.

    • Sedentary

    • Prionospio malmgreni Claparede, Stn. 2.

    • Audouinia filigera (Delle Chiaje), Stn. 2, 4 and 6.

    • Cirratulus sp., Stn. 7.

    • Capitellid—fragment, Stn. 4.

    • Nicolea maxima Augener, Stn. 2 and 4.

    • Pista, sp., Stn. 5.

    • Streblosoma sp., Stn. 2 and 3.

    • Dayschone cingulata Grube, Stn. 2, 4, 6 and 7.

  • Crustacea:
    • Amphipoda

    • Parawaldeckia sp. A, Stn. 2, 3 and 5.

    • Parawaldeckia sp. B, Stan. 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7.

    • Parawaldeckia sp. C, Stn. 6.

    • Parawaldeckia thomsoni (Stebbing), Stn. 2, 4 to 7.

    • Parambasia rossii Stephenson, Stn. 2 to 4 and 7.

    • Heterophoxus stephenseni Schellenberg, Stn. 2 and 3.

    • Pontharpinia australis (Barnard), Stn. 3.

    • Isopoda

    • Isocladus armatus (M. Edwards), Stn. 2 and 9.

    • Clicaea canaliculata (M. Edwards), Stn. 4.

    • Decapoda

    • Halicarcinus cooki (Filhol), Stn. 2 to 7.

    • Hemiplax hirtipes Heller, Stn. 2 to 5, 7.

    • Periclimenes (Harpilus) batei Holthuis, Stn. 2, 3 and 4.

  • Mollusca:
    • Amphineura

    • Acanthochiton zealandicus, Stn. 4 and 5.

    • Cryptoconchus porosus Burrow, Stn. 6

    • Terenochiton otagoensis Iredale and Hull, Stn. 7.

    • Gastropoda

    • Maoricolpus roseus roseus (Quoy and Gaimard), Stn. 2 to 7.

    • Thoristella chathamensis dunedinen sis (Suter), Stn. 2 and 3.

    • Micrelenchus tenebrosus (A. Adams), Stn. 2, 4 and 5.

    • Emarginula striatula (Quoy and Gaimard), Stn. 2.

    • Dardanula olivacea (Hutton), Stn. 2.

    • Sigapatella novaezelandiae Lesson, Stn. 3.

    • Stiracolpus symmetrica (Hutton), Stn. 3

    • Xymene plebejus (Hutton), Stn. 5.

    • Cheminitzia zealandica (Hutton), Stn. 2 to 5 and 7.

    • Pelecypoda

    • Tawera spissa (Deshayes) juveniles, Stn. 3.

    • Paphirus largillierti (Philippi) juv., Stn. 3.

  • Echinodermata:
    • Holothuroidea

    • Trochodota dunedinensis Parker. Stn. 2, 5 and 7.

    • Ophiuroidea

    • Ophiomyxa brevirima H. L. Clark, Stn. 2 to 7.

    • Amphipholis squamata (Delle Chiaje), Stn. 2, 3 and 6.

    • Amphiura amokurae Mortensen, Stn. 2.

    • Amphiura annulifera Mortensen, Stn. 6.

    • Asteroidea

    • Allostichaster insignis (Farquhar), Stn. 3.

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    • Cocinasterias calamaria (Gray), Stn. 7.

    • Asterina regularis Verrill, Stn. 3.

  • Chordata:
    • Ascidiacea

    • Ascidia aspersa (Müller), Stn. 2. to 5.

    • Corella eumyota Traustedt, Stn. 2 to 5 and 7.

    • Pyura pachydermatina (Herdman), Stn. 6.

    • Asterocarpa cerea (Sluiter), Stn. 6.

    • Botrylloides leachi (Savigny), Stn. 7

    • Pisces

    • Tripterygion varium (Forster), Stn. 2, 5 and 7.

    • Syngnathus blainvillianus (Eydoux and Gervais), Stn. 2 and 3.

3. Ecotones and Atypical assemblages

Station 1. This is a shallow water station (one foot below mean low water) between a large Zostera-covered sand bank and the shipping channel and, as might be expected, represents an ecotone between the two associations described above. Austrovenus and Maoricolpus are both found, the former being more abundant. The dominant polychaete of the Maoricolpus association Harmothoë praeclara is present, as well as a sedentary species, Euchone pallida, not found at any other station. Characteristic crustacea of the Maoricolpus association such as Halicarcinus cooki and Paraweldeckia n.sp. A, are found, but two other amphipods, Paradexamine pacifica and Aora typica, also occur, the latter being common. The tanaidacian Tanais novaezelandiae was found only at this station and was very abundant.

Station 9. This station is on a bank of dead shells one foot above mean low water. The substratum consists almost entirely of a mass of dead Austrovenus shells (not a living specimen was found) piled in great heaps of shell ‘gravel’ with a little sand between the individual pieces. There is little movement of the individual shells as their exposed portions only are corroded. The atypical faunal assemblage consists of three species only, a small limpet Notoacmea helmsi, which is very abundant, the errant polychaete Platynereis australis, which forms tubes of sand grains, and the isopod Isocladus armatus.

Station 11. This station is in the shipping channel at a depth of five fathoms below mean low water, and although Maoricolpus occurs abundantly, dead shells of the oyster Ostrea sinuata are characterstic of this assemblage. A number of other molluscs are found here that were not recorded from any other station. Dead shells of Austrovenus were also present but were probably derived from the neighbouring sand banks.

Station 12. A small area of intertidal muddy silt with large numbers of dead and broken shells, including Maoricolpus and Austrovenus. A large number of the dead valves of the brachiopod Terebratella (Waltonia) inconspicua are characteristic of this station.

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Species found only at Stations 1, 9, 11 and 12:

  • Polychaeta:
    • Sedentary

    • Euchone pallida Ehlers, Stn. 1.

  • Crustacea:
    • Tanaidacea

    • Tanais novaezealandiae Thomson, Stn. 1.

    • Amphipoda

    • Paradexamine pacifica Thomson, Stn. 1.

    • Aora typica Kroyer, Stn. 1.

    • Isopoda

    • Cymodoce bituberculata (Filhol), Stn. 1.

    • Decapoda

    • Pagurus sp., Stn. 11.

  • Mollusca:
    • Gastropoda

    • Trochus tiaratus (Quoy and Gaimard), Stn. 11.

    • Buccinulum littorinoides (Reeve) Stn. 12.

    • Lunella smaragda (Martyn), Stn. 11

    • Notoacmea (Parvacmea) helms (Smith), Stn. 9.

    • Pelecypoda

    • Nucula hartvigiana Pfeiffer, Stn. 11.

    • Notolepton sanguineum (Hutton) Stn. 11.

    • Ostrea sinuata Lamarck, Stn. 11.

    • Zearcopagia disculus (Deshayes) Stn. 11.

    • Mactra (Cyclomactra) ovata Gray Stn. 11.

  • Brachiopoda:
    • Terebratella (Waltonia) inconspicua (Sowerby), Stn. 12.

The Austrovenus Associations

All the animals described below may be taken by digging with a spade in the sand or mud banks of the harbour. Species marked with an* are recorded here from Otago harbour for the first time. All figures are natural size unless otherwise stated.


Pelecypoda (Bivalves)

Austrovenus stutchburyi (Gray). The Venus shell (Fig. 1). Up to 2in. in width; valves ovately triangular, rather thick, sculptured on the outside with low, broadly rounded radiating ribs which are crossed by fine concentric ridges; ribs absent on the posterior border; inside shell valves white, with a characteristic darker purple blotch; margin crenulated; animals have a hatchet-shaped foot and short separate siphons. Good eating. Maori name ‘Tuangi’, older systematic name Chione stutchburyi; frequently called a ‘cockle’ but is not a true cockle such as Venericardia purpurata. In the North Island this latter species is pink to reddish-purple inside the valves, but South Island specimens lack this colouration and are white, but can be separated from Austrovenus as the purple blotch is lacking, and the radiating ribs are thicker and more prominent. A. stutchburyi is common throughout New Zealand just beneath the surface of sand and mud banks exposed at low tide.

Macomona liliana (Iredale). Large wedge shell (Fig. 2). A fairly thick shell about 2½in. across with wedge-shaped valves. These have concentric striations and very faint close radiate striations on outer surface; epidermis very thin and horny and persists only on the margin of shell; white or yellowish externally; page 64 white, porcellaneous, with radial striations internally; animal has large triangular foot. Common throughout New Zealand in sand or sandy mud.

Solemya parkinsoni A. Smith. The razor mussel (Fig. 3). The elongate cylindrical shell valves have the brown, smooth shining epidermis extending beyond the margin forming a characteristic and distinctive fringe; interior of the shell a dull grey-white; grows up to 2in. in length. A common species on the sand banks found buried to a depth of about 10in.



Callianassa filholi A. Milne-Edwards. Pink sand shrimp (Fig. 4). Found in intertidal sand banks throughout New Zealand. It constructs vertical burrows down to a depth of about two feet very similar to those of Lysiosquilla spinosa, and has very small eyes, large flattened chelae and probably seldom leaves its burrow.

Lysiosquilla spinosa Wood-Mason. Burrowing mantis shrimp (Fig. 5). Found throughout New Zealand in sand and mud flats. It excavates vertical burrows which it leaves at high tide, for short periods, especially at night. The female has an irregular red band along the back flanked with dark green. the male has a sparse pepper-coloured pattern on the body.

Pontophilus australis (Thompson). Common sand shrimp (Fig. 6). This is a nocturnal species and spends the day buried in sand with only the eyes and antennae visible. At night it moves actively and in great numbers over the surface of the sand in search of food. It is white in colour, closely speckled with dark sand-grain-like flecks. Pontophilus has only a minute rostrum but differs from the other species with a short rostrum in Dunedin harbour, Alope spinifrons (Milne-Edwards), by the fact that the latter has a colour pattern of longitudinal bands of green with a slight tinging of red. Moreover, A. spinifrons is an intertidal species of the rocky shore. It is concealed by day in dark rocky crevices that may be above the water.



Aglaophamus macroura (Schmarda). (Fig. 7). Body nereis-like but prostomium of the head is more rectangular, without jaws, and with only 4 small tentacles. Aglaophamus is distinguished from Nephtys by the difference in the curvature of the gill (Fig. 8). Nephtys is also found in the harbour, and both species are common on the coasts of the South Island but not common on North Island coasts. Glycera americana (Leidy). The proboscis worm (Fig. 9). About 6in. long. Burrows in mud: body also nereis-like but with a more pointed head; cuticle very iridescent; has an extrusible proboscis about one-third as long as itself armed with 4 black terminal jaws for biting. Common on coast of both North and South Islands.

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Plate I (1) Austrovenus stutchburyi; (2) Macomona liliana; (3) Solemya parkinsoni; (4) Callianassa filholi; (5) Lysiosquilla spinosa; (6) Pontophilus australis; (7) Aglaophamus macroura.

Plate I
(1) Austrovenus stutchburyi; (2) Macomona liliana; (3) Solemya parkinsoni; (4) Callianassa filholi; (5) Lysiosquilla spinosa; (6) Pontophilus australis; (7) Aglaophamus macroura.

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Arenicola assimilis var. affinis Ashworth. The lug worm (Fig. 10). A thick-bodied darkish brown worm about 6in. long with tufts of gills on the middle third of the body. Its presence in the sand or mud is indicated by little piles of castings; lies in a U-shaped burrow so that usually the swollen head-end and the tail almost reach the surface; the burrow is lined with mucus. It is a popular bait with fishermen.

* Axiothella sp. The ‘joint’ worm (Fig. 11) [after Ricketts and Calvin, p. 290]) This worm lives in a fragile tube of sand and has a very distinctly segmented body; the head has a plug for stopping the tube when the animal is retracted. Coast of North Island but not common; first record for South Island.

* Aricia sp. (Not illustrated, see Knox, 1951, p. 78, p. 4, flg. 69.) Worm has an elongated body of many short segments and papillated parapodia. Rare. It is possible that some of the polychaetes described under the ‘Maoricolpus association’ may also be found while digging in the sand banks.



Anthopleura aureoradiata Stucky. Venus shell anemone (Fig. 12). A small, ½ to 1½ in. high, brown and yellow anemone frequently epizooic with the Venus shell Austrovenus stutchburyi; column straight and pillar-like when fully extended, a little narrower at the base, widening upwards to the tentacles; surface covered with small adhesive yellow or grey warts, the upper part of the column brown in colour, fading to cream at the base; tentacles simple, brown mottled with irregular patches of silvery white; the colour of the animal rarely varies. Found throughout New Zealand.

A. inconspicula (Hutton) as found in the Portobello area is rather similar but larger, up to 5cm. high, with a white column, less clearly defined warts and the tentacles olive brown barried with white on the mouth aspect. The body colours of this latter species are, however, very variable and both disc and column may be pink or orange.

Although not taken in the original digs, Edwardsia tricolor and Metridium canum were later found to be present although not common in the mud banks opposite the Marine Station.

Edwardsia tricolor Stucky. Fig. 13.) A tiny elongate anemone adapted for burrowing; colour very variable, physa white, scapus orange, grey or a dirty brown; capitulum transparent with pattern of brown and orange red with stripes of white; usually 16 tentacles but up to 24, pale buff or orange in colour. Fairly common throughout New Zealand.

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Plate II (8)Aglaophamus sp. parapodium with gill; (8a) Nephtys sp. gill; (9) Glycera americana; (10) Arenicola assimilis var. affinis; (11) Axiothella sp., head, oral view; (11a) Axiothella sp. head, side view; (11b) Axiothella sp. anal rosette and cirri; (12) Anthopleura aureoradiata; (13) Edwardsia tricolor; (14) Metridium canum.

Plate II
(8)Aglaophamus sp. parapodium with gill; (8a) Nephtys sp. gill; (9) Glycera americana; (10) Arenicola assimilis var. affinis; (11) Axiothella sp., head, oral view; (11a) Axiothella sp. head, side view; (11b) Axiothella sp. anal rosette and cirri; (12) Anthopleura aureoradiata; (13) Edwardsia tricolor; (14) Metridium canum.

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Metridium canum (Stucky). The plumose anemone (Fig. 14). A much larger anemone (up to 15cm.) than either of the above with a well developed adherent base but often so deeply buried in sand or mud that it does not appear to be attached. Column soft and thin-walled and colour merges from a dull grey-green at the mouth end to almost white at the base. Disc same colour as upper part of column. Tentacles very numerous and tapering to a point so that the animal appears to have a ‘ruff’ about the mouth. The animals prefer a dim light and only about 2 to 3cm. appear above the surface of the mud. and when covered with water the extended disc and tentacles appear almost flush with the surface; When exposed and contracted at low tide they appear as conical humps. Rare.

The Maoricolpus Association


Gastropoda (Sea Snails)

Maoricolpus roseus roseus (Quoy and Gaimard). Turret shell (Fig. 15). A reddish-brown, faintly marbled with dark-brown, sharply pointed shell, when fully grown about 1½in. to 2in. in length; animal brown spotted with black, with whitish tentacles and a yellow or greenish foot; operculum closing shell mouth is thin and horny. Of widespread occurrence in both North and South Island waters. Vast beds are found in Auckland harbour and there is every indication that similar beds are present in Dunedin harbour. These shell fish live from low tide down to moderately deep water. Older name, Turritella rosea. Maori name, ‘kukukuroaroa’.

Stiracolpus symmetricus (Hutton). (Fig. 16.) A smaller turret shell than M. roseus, about ¾in. in height; may be dark bluish, greenish black, or purplish in colour. Inside walls of the shell reflect the light like an opal. It is found throughout New Zealand and lives mostly on seaweeds at low tide level.

Micrelenchus tenebrosus (A. Adams). One of the opal shells (Fig. 17). A small conical shell about ½in. to ¾in. in height; may be dark bluish, greenish black, or purplish in colour. Inside walls of the shell reflect the light like an opal. It is found throughout New Zealand.

Thoristella chathamensis dunedinensis (Suter). Top shell (Fig. 18). Another small conical shell about the same size at M. tenebrosus. As indicated in the name, Otago harbour has a variety of its own and this differs from other varieties in not having a keel on the last twist of the shell and is greenish-brown with indistinct oblique olive-black stripes, whereas other varieties are white, buff, or pinkish and have a keel on the last twist. Older name Trochus c. dunedinensis. Trochus tiaratus Quoy and Gaimard. Pearly shell (Fig. 19). A small, shiny shell about ¾in. in height with a sharp apex and almost flat base; whitish to greyish green finely chequered with reddish-brown, but if outer surface of shell is eroded these lines may appear lemon-yellow; 5 to 5½ whorls with 5 to 8 beaded spiral bands on the last but one whorl. Maori name ‘mimiti’; coasts of both North and South Islands; very similar to Thoristella c. dunedinensis.

Zediloma (Fractarmilla) corrosa (A. Adams). Mud-flat top shell (Fig. 20). A small South Island species common on mud-flats; conical shell about ¾in. in height, dark purple in colour overlaid by a more or less yellowish-white layer that page 69
Plate III (15) Maoricolpus roseus; (16) Stiracolpus symmetricus; (17) Micrelenchus tenebrosus; (18) Thoristella chathamensis dunedinensis (19) Trochus tiaratus; (20) Zediloma corrosa; (21) Cominella glandiformis; (22) Xymene plebejus; (23) Sigapatella novaezelandiae; (24) Chemnitzia zelandica; (25) Emarginula striatula; (26) Notoacmea helmsi; (27) Tawera spissa; (28) Mactra ovata.

Plate III
(15) Maoricolpus roseus; (16) Stiracolpus symmetricus; (17) Micrelenchus tenebrosus; (18) Thoristella chathamensis dunedinensis (19) Trochus tiaratus; (20) Zediloma corrosa; (21) Cominella glandiformis; (22) Xymene plebejus; (23) Sigapatella novaezelandiae; (24) Chemnitzia zelandica; (25) Emarginula striatula; (26) Notoacmea helmsi; (27) Tawera spissa; (28) Mactra ovata.

is often eroded away leaving zig-zag lines of purple on the last whorl; about 5 convex whorls to the shell. Older name Monodonta corrosa.

Cominella (Cominista) glandiformis (Reeve). Whelk (Fig. 21). A very common intertidal mud-flat and shallow water form throughout New Zealand; an active carnivorous species, feeds on Austrovenus by boring a hole through the shell, extending the proboscis through the hole, and rasping out the fleshy tissues within; shell small and ovate, fairly thick, brown or purplish, coated with green or grey; aperture dark brown within; outer lip yellowish; 7 to 8 whorls.

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Xymene plebejus (Hutton). (Fig. 22.) A small, thick, fusiform shell about ½in. in height, dark brown in colour outside, and inside aperture brownish-purple, sometimes white with brownish bands; outer lip of aperture crenulated; 6 whorls to the shell, the last being by far the largest; all the whorls ornamented with brown spiral ribs. A common intertidal species throughout New Zealand on mud and sandy flats and under rocks.

Sigapatella novaezelandiae (Quoy and Gaimard). Circular slipper shell (Fig. 23). A rounded convex shell with 3 to 4 whorls, the last very large; dark green to brown outside and white inside with a brown or violet large spot near the centre; well marked flattish growth lines; shell about 1¼in. in diameter; easily distinguished from other shells commonly called slipper shells, Zeacrypta monoxyla and Maoricrypta costata, by its circular shape, as these latter are elongate and rather limpet-like. S. novaezelandiae is common throughout New Zealand.

Chemnitzia zealandica (Hutton). (Fig. 24.) A minute turret-shaped shell about ¼in. in height: white, and semi-transparent, conspicuously marked with numerous vertical riblets; 8 slightly convex whorls. Common in shell sand throughout New Zealand.

Limpets. Gastropods with simple cap-like shell which protect themselves against drying out by clamping the shell firmly down on to the surface of the substratum. Emarginula striatula (Quoy and Gaimard). Slit limpet (Fig. 25). So called, because of the easily seen slit in the anterior border; grey-green in colour, about an inch long; shell ovate-conic, rather fragile with crenulate margin and prominent growth ridges. Common throughout New Zealand.

Notoacmea helmsi (A. Smith). Yellow-edged limpet (Fig. 26). A small cap-shaped shell about ½in. long with almost smooth bluish-grey upper surface ornamented with numerous radiating reddish-black lines; inside greenish, but with white central area with a few reddish spots and a narrow yellow border marked all round with dark red rays. Throughout New Zealand.

Pelecypoda (Bivalves)

Tawera spissa (Deshayes). Morning star shell (Fig. 27). Another small shell about lin. in length marked with conspicuous reddish-brown radiate bands with zig-zagging lines across them. ‘Tawera’ is the Maori name for Venus the morning star. Common on sandy beaches throughout New Zealand.

Mactra (Cyclomactra) ovata Gray. Oval trough shell (Fig. 28). Lives buried in soft mud within harbours and estuaries; the shell valves are very thin and fragile, up to 2½in. in length. Common throughout New Zealand.

Ostrea sinuata Lamark. Mud oyster or Stewart Island oyster. May be slightly attached by the left valve or free; right valve flat, somewhat convex; shell greyish-brown outside and yellowish- or greenish-white within; both valves with concentric lamellae; about 3½in. x 3in. Found in both islands but most extensive beds occur in Foveaux Strait.

Amphineura. Chitons or coat of mail shells, named from the character of the shell which is made up of 8 overlapping plates held in place by an encircling muscular girdle.

Cryptoconchus porosus (Burrow). (Fig. 29.) A handsome, large species (up to page 71 2½in.); orange and dark green in colour; shell almost covered by the thick fleshy girdle, the small turquoise-blue valves arranged in a straight row along the centre of the back; two rows of prominent conical papilae on the upper surface. Throughout New Zealand.

Acanthochiton zelandicus Quoy and Gaimard. Bristle chiton (Fig. 30). A medium-sized chiton about 1½in. in length, olive green in colour but the colour is rather variable; the most conspicuous feature is the prominent tufts of glassy spicules embedded in the leathery girdle. It is the only common chiton in Otago harbour with these bristle tufts. Throughout New Zealand.

Terenochiton otagoensis Iredale and Hull. A tiny chiton distinguished from the other two species common in dredgings from the harbour, not only by its size, which is not greater than ½in., but by the fact that the valves of the shell lack insertion plates; known only from the southern third of the South Island and Stewart Island.

Cephalopoda. Octopuses and squids, etc. Soft-bodied molluscs in which the shell is often internal in the form of a ‘pen’ or ‘cuttle bone’.

Robsonella australis (Hoyle). The common small shore octopus (Fig. 31). Mantle length up to 1½in.; total length about 4in.; head rather wide; red-brown in colour; another species, R. huttoni, is larger with the mantle up to 2½in. in length and the head narrower; known only from southern New Zealand and the Auckland Is. The larger common octopus found in rock pools and down to moderate depths is Octopus maorum. Robsonella is distinguished from Octopus on the structure of the hectocotylous arms, i.e. a modified pair of arms in the male; in Robsonella the enlarged tip is pear-shaped with a smooth median groove, while in Octopus the tip is elongate-oval with transverse ridges in the groove. Both species feed on shell-fish, particularly Austrovenus.

Brachiopoda. Lamp shells. So called because the bivalve shell is shaped like an ancient Roman lamp. The whole group is itself old, being known from the Palaeozoic era.

Terebratella (Waltonia) inconspicua (Sowerby). (Fig. 32). Is a small, red, smooth-shelled brachiopod up to ¾in. in diameter; found throughout New Zealand mostly below low tide level, fastened to rock or other solid objects. Dead shells are fairly common at Station 12.


Asteroidea (Starfish)

Asterina regularis Verrill. Cushion star (Fig. 33). The common New Zealand intertidal pentagonal-shaped starfish. Very variable in colour on the upper side, grey-green or dark blue-green, but may be yellow or orange or any of these as a base colour blotched with one of the others. Large ones are 3in. across; arms not clearly marked off from the central disc; covered above and below with clusters of minute spinelets; groove for tube feet, narrow and slit-like.

* Coscinasterias calamaria (Gray). Spiny star (Fig. 34). Clearly distinct from Asterina as the arms are marked off from the disc and from 6 to 11 in number but usually 11; arms commonly of unequal size owing to regeneration; both the arms and the disc have prominent spines and each spine surrounded by clustered ‘pedicellariae’; spines on upper surface stouter than on foot grooves but equal page 72 in length. Found throughout New Zealand. Very similar to Astrostole scabra, New Zealand's largest starfish, but this latter species usually has only 7 arms though specimens with 6 and 8 are known. Further distinguished from Coscinasterias as the spines on the foot grooves are larger than on the arms: also A. scabra is not known south of Akaroa.

* Allostichaster insignis (Farquhar). (Fig. 35.) Rather like Coscinasterias and Astrostole, but has only 6 arms. Characteristed by its capacity to divide transversely into halves so that specimens with 3 arms and others with 3 small arms and 3 normal-sized arms are frequently found. Widely distributed throughout New Zealand.

Ophiuroidea (Brittle stars). Usually 5 arms, and these in general more clearly marked off from the disc than in starfish; no tube feet; among the most numerous of all sea-floor dwelling animals; most are scavengers.

* Amphiura amokurae Mrtsn. (Fig. 36). Both disc and arms have plates; a greyish brittle-star with arms about 1½in. in length and disc about ½in. across; the spines on the arms are flattened; low tide level throughout New Zealand from North Cape to Auckland Is., but nowhere common.

*Amphiura annulifera Mrtsn. A smaller species than the above with arms about ½in. in length and disc about ⅛in. across; white with a brownish ring round the mouth; spines not flattened; viviparous, i.e. carries its young in pouches, the opening of which are on the lower surface; found mostly at low-tide level and below. Rare.

The New Zealand brittle star fauna has a high proportion of species of the F. Amphiuridae and species of the genus Amphiura are difficult to separate out. Species other than the above may be found in the harbour and caution should be exercised in identification (cf. Fell, 1949, p. 125).

* Ophiomyxa brevirima H. L. Clark. (Fig. 37.) Brittle star with upper surface of disc quite smooth; arms spiny; disc purple brown with irregular blotches of darker colour; arms banded with alternating bars of fawn and chocolate, light brown fawn below; disc up to lin. across; arms lin. to 2in. in length; found from low tide level down to 25 fathoms and appears to be the commonest brittle star in the harbour and throughout New Zealand.

* Amphipholis squamata (Delle Chiaje). (Fig. 38.) A small brittle star with scales on the disc, and arms with plates; grey in colour, and arms about 7/10in. long; common in rock pools, among coralline seaweeds or in sand. Common throughout New Zealand.

Also possibly present Ophionereis fasciata (Hutton), larger brittle star than any of the above and about 5in. in overall width; colour a marbled combination of black, grey, brown and fawn mottling and banding; would be found under stones that rest on sand or gravel.

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Plate IV (29) Cryptoconchus porosus; (30) Acanthochiton zelandicus; (30a) Two shell valves of a chiton; (31) Robsonella australis; (32) Terebratella inconspicua; (33) Asterina regularis.

Plate IV
(29) Cryptoconchus porosus; (30) Acanthochiton zelandicus; (30a) Two shell valves of a chiton; (31) Robsonella australis; (32) Terebratella inconspicua; (33) Asterina regularis.

page 74

Holothuroidea (Sea cucumbers). Elongate, worm-like echinoderms with cylindrical or 5-sided fleshy body supported by scattered internal spicules; circlet of tentacles round the mouth.

Trochodota dunedinensis Parker. (Fig. 39.) Common occurrence in the harbour; worm-like without tube feet; thin pinkish body-wall with reddish spots at the ends; up to 2in. in length when fully expanded; fiinger-like tentacles round the mouth. Another intertidal species, T. dendyi, is much larger, up to 6in. in length, white in colour with faint purplish tint. Common throughout New Zealand.


Brachyura (Crabs). Crustacea in which the abdomen is greatly reduced, shorter than the cephalothorax and permanently flexed underneath it.

Halicarcinus cooki (Filhol). (Fig. 40) Found among Zostera and seaweeds; about ⅓in. in width; anterior marginal tooth rounded, posterior just below margin and about halfway down the back sharp and spine-like; rostrum with 3 fairly prominent lobes; digits of the chela fully dentate; back very flat and sharp-edged. Common throughout New Zealand.

Hemiplax hirtipes Heller. (Fig. 41.) A larger crab than H. cooki, also from mud-flats and Zostera beds; drab mud-colour, about lin. across with 3 prominent spine-like teeth on the anterior lateral margin; sides of the body are almost straight, giving the back a square effect. An active and very aggressive little crab. Very closely resembles Helice crassa, the tunnelling mud crab also known from Otago harbour and which is approximately the same size but is distinct in having the eye stalks equal to the front margin in length.

It is quite likely that dredging or a flounder net may take two swimming crabs abundant in the harbour, namely Nectocarcinus antarcticus Jacquinot and Lucas (the rough swimming crab) and Ovalipes bipustulatus Milne-Edwards (the smooth swimming crab). The back legs of these crabs are flattened and paddle-like. Both are active. and rather pugnacious crabs, particularly O. bipustulatus which partly crawls, partly swims, carrying the sharp chelae in raised attitude ready for action. They are very alike in general appearance but N. antarcticus has 4 antero-lateral spine-like teeth and O. bipustulatus has 5. Fig. 42 shows the difference in their paddle-like back legs.

Macrura (Shrimps and crayfish)

Periclimenes (Harpilus) batei Holthuis. (Fig. 43.) This is a common, almost transparent shrimp found below low-tide level and on a sandy sea-floor. It is a nocturnal species similar in appearance to Palaemon affinis Milne-Edwards, the common harbour shrimp which is primarily an intertidal form of rock or sand-floor pools. Both species have a long, sharp rostrum, but the latter has a colour pattern of wavy green, red or black bands.

Although not taken in the dredge, the common crayfish Jasus lalandii M.-Edwards is a fairly abundant sea-floor animal in the vicinity of the Marine Station. Further information on the species can be found in Thomson and Anderton (1921, p. 106).

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Plate V (34) Coscinasterias calamaria; (35) Allostichaster insignis (young animal); (36) Amphiura amokurae; (37) Ophiomyxa brevirima; (38) Amphipholis squamata.

Plate V
(34) Coscinasterias calamaria; (35) Allostichaster insignis (young animal); (36) Amphiura amokurae; (37) Ophiomyxa brevirima; (38) Amphipholis squamata.

page 76

All the tanaidaceans. isopods and amphipods described below are very typical of the fauna to be expected from the harbour and the Dunedin coastal area anywhere from shoreline down to 100 fathoms and may be taken either from a sandy sea floor, sand banks, or from washings of mud and debris from the bases of clumps of seaweed, or amongst polyzoans growing on Pyura stalks.

Tanaidacea (Fig. 44). A small group of marine or brackish water crustaceans, recognisable by their long, slender, cylindrical body and the pair of very stout gnathopods under the head which are as large and obvious as the head itself. Exemplified in present collection by Tanais novaezealandiae G. M. Thomson. Fairly common in Otago harbour.

Isopoda. Pill bugs. (Fig. 45.)

Isocladus armatus (M.-Edwards). Pill bug isopod. Male readily identifiable, has smooth greyish ovate body with long spine on the 7th thoracic segment which reaches back over the abdomen as far as end of pleotelson; wide uropod fans; female of same general shape without distinctive spine and likely to be confused with other genera. Very common in Dunedin harbour and Blueskin Bay area. Cymodoce bituberculata (Filhol). Body somewhat as in Isocladus but thorax lacks spine; pleotelson has 2 rounded bosses.

Cilicaea caniculata (G. M. Thomson). General body shape as in Isocladus but uropods strong and produced in heavy furred fork either side of pleotelson; abdomen with heavy medial furred blunt spine; furring gives animal a rather dirty appearance; a common species in the harbour and around Dunedin coasts.

Amphipoda. Sand hoppers (Fig. 46). Many of the amphipods collected belong to the Family Lysianassidae members of which are characterised by a short stout 1st antenna and by comparatively deep side plates tending to cover the legs partly or entirely. The commonest members of the family found in the harbour are species of Parawaldeckia, most of which have not yet been described in literature. All the species of Parawaldeckia, are small, about 5-7mm. when mature, with compact body, usually white in colour and with black kidney-shaped eyes.

Paravaldeckia thomsoni (Stebbing). Characterised by having the hind corner of the third epimeral plate produced backwards as a short sharp spine.

* Parawaldeckia species A. Eyes large; basal segment of 5th limb oval, almost as wide proximally as distally; telson entire, without spines; side plate of 5th segment much larger than the basal segment of 5th limb.

* Parawaldeckia species B. Telson emarginate; basal segment of 5th limb is pear shaped, widest distally and quite narrow proximally.

* Parawaldeckia species C. Like species A but telson emarginate, spined, sideplate of 5th segment as deep as basos but no larger.

Parambasia rossii Stephenson. Another small species up to 7mm. in length, rather like Parawaldeckia but peduncle of 1st antenna particularly stout; black page break
Plate VI (39) Trochodota dunedinensis; (40) Halicarcinus cooki; (41) Hemiplax hirtipes; (42) Nectocarcinus antarcticus; (42a) Ovalipes bipustulatus; (43) Periclimenes batei; (44) Tanaidacean; (45) Isopod; (46) Amphipod; (47) Caprella sp.

Plate VI
(39) Trochodota dunedinensis; (40) Halicarcinus cooki; (41) Hemiplax hirtipes; (42) Nectocarcinus antarcticus; (42a) Ovalipes bipustulatus; (43) Periclimenes batei; (44) Tanaidacean; (45) Isopod; (46) Amphipod; (47) Caprella sp.

page 78 in colour, but male has 4th sideplate white giving very distinctive saddle appearance.

* Parambasia species A. Translucent in colour, with cherry-red blotch in middle of body, generally lacking in pigment where P. rossii is pigmented, and vice versa; very small, about 2mm.; taken in washings from red alga Ceramium. Heterophoxus stephenseni Schellenberg and Pontharcarpinia australis (Barnard) are small species from 6-10mm., closely allied and characterised especially by a large rostral hood over the head, eyes, and bases of the antennae, and by very setose and spined limbs; to determine the species see Hurley (1954), T. Roy. Soc. N.Z. 81 (4): 579-599.

Paradexamine pacifica (G. M. Thomson). This is a very common species from amongst algae and sea-floor collections throughout the country; translucent with red eyes, orange and blue-green pigment spots on the body; pleon has a distinct keel, and a medial keel spine on segments 2-3 of abdomen, and segment 1 of urosome.

Aora typica Kroyer. A translucent species with 4th segment of first limb in male directed downwards along 5th in long strong spinal process. Cosmopolitan.

Lembos philacantha (Stebbing) Like Aora but first limb lacks the spines of the 4th segment; antennae and 7th limb especially long; body smooth.

Caprella sp. Skeleton shrimp (Fig. 47). A slender elongate amphipod modified for living amongst weed; head fused with first body segment so that no more than 6 articulated segments are apparent; abdominal segments usually all fused and the abdomen as a whole reduced to a small knob. Common in Otago harbour.



* Lepidonotus jacksoni Kinberg. Scale worm (Fig. 48). Animal has short, broad body up to 2.4cm. in length, not tapered; the back covered with 12 pairs of scales (elytra) which are fringed on the upper margin, pale brown in colour and with a varying number of roundish tubercles on the surface; found throughout New Zealand more especially below low tide and in sandy and muddy areas; could be confused with L. polychromus which also has the elytra fringed but the latter species is much more widely distributed intertidally under stones and among algae and has only a slight swelling on the dorsal cirrus of the parapodium and no black pigment as in L. jacksoni.

Harmothoë praeclara (Haswell). Another scale worm very similar to Lepidonotus but with 15 pairs of elytra and the lateral tentacles inserted ventrally not subterminally as in Lepidonotus. Common on coast of South Island.

* Nereis jacksoni Kinberg. Rag worm (Fig. 49). A small, narrow, cylindrical worm about 30mm. in length and 2mm. wide; about 75 segments all alike except at the extreme anterior and posterior ends, and each bearing a pair of laterally page break
Plate VII (48) Lepidonotus jacksoni; (49) Nereis jacksoni; (50) Platynereis australis; (51) Nicolea maxima, animal removed from tube, and (51a) in tube; (52) Audouinia filigera; (52a) Head region enlarged.

Plate VII
(48) Lepidonotus jacksoni; (49) Nereis jacksoni; (50) Platynereis australis; (51) Nicolea maxima, animal removed from tube, and (51a) in tube; (52) Audouinia filigera; (52a) Head region enlarged.

page 80 projecting parapodia with prominent bristles; head region distinct, with clearly seen tentacles and short tentacular cirri. Not common in New Zealand. N. jacksoni is very similar to N. falcaria Willey but the prostomium is notched between the tentacles in this latter species, and it is widespread throughout New Zealand from the intertidal region down to 55 fathoms.

* Neanthes cricognatha (Ehlers). A nereis-like worm which builds semipermanent tubes, usually in areas where there is an admixture of sand and firm mud; of predaceous habit, aggressive and carnivorous; up to 70mm. long and 4mm. broad; prostomium slightly longer than broad, broadly rounded anteriorly and ill defined marginally; tentacles short; eyes large; palps short; intertidal down to 55 fathoms. Known from coasts of both North and South Islands but does not appear to be of common occurrence.

Platynereis australis (Schmarda). (Fig. 50.) A large, nereid-like worm up to 200mm. long and 5mm. wide and with about 150 segments; forms tubes of sand grains and pieces of shell; prostomium longer than broad; tentacles equal in length to the prostomium; palps longer than tentacles; eyes moderately large; tentacular cirri long; surface of body conspicuously iridescent, dark pink in general colour and with a prominent dorsal blood vessel. Common throughout New Zealand.

Podarke angustifrons (Grube). A tiny, slender, nereid-like worm about ½in. in length and with about 40 parapodial bearing segments; forms a semi-permanent tube of sand grains and shell; the head has 3 tentacles; gills are lacking. Throughout New Zealand.

*Dorvillea australiensis (McIntosh). Another nereid-like worm with well defined head carrying 2 tentacles and 2 cylindrical palps all of which are conspicuous; proboscis has a complex system of jaws; about 75mm. long. Common on the coast of the South Island, not so common on North Island coast.


Nicolea maxima Augener. (Fig. 51.) A large tube worm; tube has a membranous base covered over with sand grains and fragments of shell, and about 5in. in length; body divided into small head, thorax of about 20 to 21 segments, cream or lemon-pink in colour; abdomen and tentacles yellow. Sparsely distributed on coasts of North and South Islands.

* Audouinia filigera (Delle Chiaje). (Fig. 52.) * Cirratulus sp., and * Chaetozone sp. are all burrowing polychaetes. Audouinia and Cirratulus have long, thread-like tentacles and gills, at the anterior end of the body; the greater part of the body is buried but the tentacles and gills writhe on the surface of the sand or mud. In Audouinia the lateral gills start in front of the segments bearing the tentacles, while in Cirratulus tentacles and gills start on the same segment. Chaetozone has a single pair of large, stout tentacular palps and no thread-like tentacles. A. filigera is known only from Dunedin harbour but a closely allied species, A. anchylochaeta, is one of the commonest polychaetes on the New Zealand coast; Cirratulus sp. and Chaetozone sp. are rare.


Ascidiacea. Sea squirts.

Ascidia aspersa (Müller). (Fig. 53.) Large, solitary sea squirt about 2½in. in page 81 length; found singly or in clumps usually fastened to rocks between the tide marks; elongate rectangular body; lacks colours except for light pinkish-orange in the siphons; fine papillae on the test in young specimens, pustules in older ones; usually attached by posterior end; old individuals frequently have seaweeds, other ascidians, hydroids, etc., attached to them. Known only from Otago harbour in New Zealand. It is thought that A. aspersa may have been introduced when the Marine Biological Station tried to acclimatise various English food fishes and crustaceans, as it is well known in European seas.

Corella eumyota Traustedt. (Fig. 54.) Like A. aspersa, Corella eumyota is very common in the harbour on rocks in the intertidal region, and fairly common throughout New Zealand; bottle-shaped and compressed, atrial aperture on a short siphon which lies almost at right angles to the body; siphon linings and mantle are bright orange red, and this pigment shows clearly through the transparent, smooth test. A southern hemisphere species about 2in. high but giants 4in. are known.

Asterocarpa cerea (Sluiter). (Fig. 55.) Another solitary species attached either by the base or all or part of one side; body almost spherical; colour of the siphons is distinctive, maroon with 8 white internal longitudinal bands; the test is brown and smooth except on the margin of the siphons which bear many small warty processes; length up to 1½in. and breadth up to 2in. Throughout New Zealand.

Botrylloides leachi Savigny. (Fig. 56.) Colonies form soft, flattish, irregularly shaped masses on rocks, shells and other structures mainly in the intertidal region but also a little deeper. Test is semi-transparent; zooids purplish-red, with yellow or white spots round the branchial apertures; general appearance purplish spotted with white or yellow. Zooids arranged in elongate or circular systems about a common aperture. Colonies up to 12in. in diameter. Coasts of North and South Islands.

Pyura pachydermatina (Herdman). Sea tulip (Fig. 57). A large, conspicuous stalked sea squirt common at low-water level on rocks, piles and among seaweed; body large and oval, a little compressed with a very leathery test with 6 deep longitudinal pink grooves or all the test may be pink; young forms pale, almost white; siphons short, inconspicuous, one side formed by the body; the stalk and body often covered with other animals and plants. Body exclusive of stalk up to 3in. in length, stalks 6in. to 10in. Coasts of North and South Islands.


Syngnathus blainvillianus Eydoux and Gervais. Short-nosed pipe-fish (Fig. 58). Small, about 6in., slender fish with body about ½in. thick when fully grown; poor swimmer; head extends as tube-like snout with small toothless mouth at the tip; usually pale brown with blackish crossbars between the rings but colour rather variable, frequently similar in colour to the seaweed among which they live; eyes jewel-like. Common throughout the harbour and elsewhere in New Zealand among seaweed. Like its close relative the sea-horse, the male takes charge of the eggs.

Tripterygion varium. (Forster). Cockabully (Fig. 59). Another small fish about 6in. in length but with much thicker body than the pipe fish; as name suggests, page 82 is very variable particularly in colour — some are black or brown, others olive-green or reddish-orange; six dark-coloured U-shaped markings on the side of the body distinguish this cockabully from its close relative T. tripenne. Found among weeds and rocks, it is a pugnacious and voracious species and common throughout New Zealand.

It is also probable that while dredging in seaweed areas the following two fish will be taken, viz. Hemerocoetes acanthorhynchus Forster, the ‘opal fish’ with large iridescent scales, and a small knob on the upper lip: and H. waitei Regan, the ‘blue bonnet’, in which the head and body is marked with blue bands. Both fish are about llin. long.

Although not taken originally in 1952. the following sea-floor flatfish are known from the harbour.

The two flounders Rhombosolea plebeia (Richardson) (Sand flounder), and R. tapirina Gunther (Greenback flounder) are common in the harbour. R. plebeia lives over cockle beds, mud-flats, patches of eel grass, etc., in fact anything except rock; is greenish-grey above with clouded markings; undersurface colourless: R. tapirina has a very green upper surface, fins with black spots here and there; white underneath; and acute snout. R. leporina Gunther (Yellow-belly flounder), yellow underneath, is not so common and found chiefly in or at river mouths: similarly R. retiaria Hutton (Black flounder) is also mainly a river flounder, dull green above with red spots and yellowish-olive underneath.

Neither Peltorhamphus novaezeelandiae (Gunther), the common sole, greenish-grey above without markings and completely white below with characteristic large beak-shaped snout, nor P. flavilatus Waite, the lemon sole, grey with irregular but distinct brown blotches on the upper surface, yellow underneath and no beak-like snout, are common in the harbour.

Large quantities of green and red seaweeds were commonly dredged in the channels but are not described here as specialists advise that the systematic position of the majority is in doubt and that no useful purpose would be served at present in giving a tentative specific diagnosis. Also, it is beyond the scope of the present paper to describe the hydroid and bryozoan fauna frequently found growing on the seaweeds.


The authors wish to thank Dr. Elizabeth Batham, Director of Portobello Marine Biological Station, and Dr. D. E. Hurley, Oceanographic Institute, Wellington (formerly of Portobello Marine Station) for very willing help and advice; the following specialists who kindly identified material:—Miss S. Jonathan, Otago University (Porifera); Miss G. Parry, London University (Actiniaria); Mr. G. Knox, Canterbury University College, Christchurch (Polychaeta); Professor L. R. Richardson (Brachyura), Dr. H. B. Fell (Echinodermata, except Holothuroidea) page break
Plate VIII (53) Ascidia aspersa; (54) Corella eumyota; (55) Asterocarpa cerea; (56) Botrylloides leachi; (57) Pyura pachydermatina; (58) Syngnathus blainvillianus; (59) Tripterygion varium.

Plate VIII
(53) Ascidia aspersa; (54) Corella eumyota; (55) Asterocarpa cerea; (56) Botrylloides leachi; (57) Pyura pachydermatina; (58) Syngnathus blainvillianus; (59) Tripterygion varium.

page 84 and Mr. J. Yaldwyn (Macrura), all of Victoria University College, Wellington; Dr. D. E. Hurley. Oceanographic Institute (Amphipoda and Isopoda); Mr. W. H. Dawbin, Sydney University (Holothuroidea); Mr. R. K. Dell (Mollusca) and Mr. J. Moreland (Pisces), both of the Dominion Museum, Wellington; and Miss Beryl Brewin, Otago University, Dunedin (Ascidiacea); and also to Mrs. A. Shand (née Cynthia Smart. Botany Department, Victoria University College), and the members of the senior zoology class, J. Moreland, J. Northern. R. Brunsdon and P. Munro, for their enthusiastic co-operation during ‘Operation Portobello’ in 1952.

Selected References


Morton, J. E., 1950. Collecting and preserving zoological specimens. Tuatara II (3): 104-114. 1 text fig.

N.Z. Oceanographic Committee, 1955. Bibliography of New Zealand Oceanography 1949-53. D.S.I.R. (N.Z.) Geophysical Mem. 4, 19 pp., map.

Oliver, W. R. B., 1923. Marine littoral plant and animal communities in New Zealand. Trans. N.Z. Inst. 54: 496-545. pls. 47-50.

Powell, A. W. B., 1947 Native animals of New Zealand. Auckl. Inst. and Museum.

Thomson, G. M., 1913. The natural history of Otago harbour and the adjacent sea. Trans. N.Z. Inst. XLV (1): 225-251. Map.

Thomson, G. M., and Anderton, T., 1923. History of the Portobello Marine Fish-hatchery and Biological Station. Board of Sci. & Art. Bull. 2, Govt. Printer.

Other New Zealand Seafloor Animal Associations:

Dell, R. K., 1951. Some animal communities of the seabottom from Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand. Journ. Sci. Tech. (N.Z.) B 33 (1): 19-29, 2 text figs.

Fleming, C. A., 1950. The molluscan fauna of the fiords of Western Southland. Journ. Sci. Tech. (N.Z.) B 31 (5): 20-40, map.

—— 1952. A Foveaux Strait oyster bed. Journ. Sci. Tech. (N.Z.) B 34 (2): 73-85, 4 text figs.

Powell. A. W. B., 1937. Animal communities of the seabottom in Auckland and Manakau Harbours. Trans. Roy. Soc. N.Z. 66: 354-401.

—— 1950. Mollusca from the continetal shelf, Eastern Otago. Rec. Aack. Inst. Mus. 4 (1): 73-81, pl. 7, text fig.

Papers on Classification and Keys:

Brewin, Beryl I., 1946. Ascidians in the vicinity of the Portobello Marine Biological Station, Otago Harbour. Trans. Roy. Soc. N.Z. 76 (2): 87-131, text figs. 1-19, pls. 1-5.

Dawbin, W. H., 1950. A guide to the Holothurians of New Zealand. Tuatara III (1): 33-41, 2 text figs.

Dell, R. K., 1951. Key to the common Chitons of New Zealand. Tuatara IV (1): 4-12, 2 pls.

—— 1952. The New Zealand Cephalopoda. Tuatara IV (3): 91-102, 2 text figs.

Fell, H. B., 1947. Key to the littoral Asteroids of New Zealand. Tuatara I (1): 20-23, 2 pls.

—— 1948. A key to the sea urchins of New Zealand. Tuatara I (3): 6-12, 2pls.

—— 1949. New Zealand littoral Ophiuroids. Tuatara II (3): 121-129, 2 text figs.

—— 1950. A key to the sea urchins of New Zealand, additional species. Tuatara III (1): 42.

Fyfe, Marion L., 1952. List of New Zealand Polychaetes. Bull. 105, D.S.I.R. (N.Z.), Govt. Printer, Wellington.

Graham, David H., 1953. A treasury of New Zealand fishes.A. H. and A. W. Reed, 404 pp., figs.

Knox, G. A., 1951. The polychaetous annelids of Banks Peninsula. Part I. Nereidae. Rec. Cant. Mus. V(5): 213-229, pls. XLIV-L.

—— 1951a. The polychaetous annelids of Banks Peninsula. Part II. A rock-bottom fauna from 80 fathoms. Rec. Cant. Mus. V(1): 61-81, text figs. 1-23.

—— 1951b. A guide to the families and genera of New Zealand polychaetes. Tuatara IV (2): 63-85, pls. I-IV.

Parry, G., 1951. The Actiniaria of New Zealand. A check-list of recorded and new species, a review of the literature, and a key to the commoner forms. Part I. Rec. Cant. Mus. VI (1): 83-119, 8 text figs.

—— 1952. idem. Part II. Rec. Cant. Mus. VI (2): 121-141, text-fig. 9.

Powell, A. W. B., 1946. The shell fish of New Zealand. Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd.

Richardson, L. R., 1949. A guide to the Brachyrhynchous crabs. Tuatara II (1): 29-36, 2 text figs.

—— 1949a. A guide to the Oxyrhyricha, Oxystoma and lesser crabs. Tuatara II (2): 58-69, 2 text figs.

—— 1949b. Corrections and deletions for the guides to the Brachyura. Tuatara II (3): 130.

Suter, H., 1913. Manual of the New Zealand Mollusca. Text and Atlas (1915). Govt. Printer, Wellington.

The illustrations for this paper were drawn by Edward S. Robinson, Zoology Department, Victoria University College.

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