Monday, January 29, 2018

[Cnidaria • 2018] Revision of the Genus Adelogorgia Bayer, 1958 (Anthozoa: Octocorallia) with the Description of Three New Species

Adelogorgia osculabunda, A. hannibalis & A. adusta 
 Breedy & Guzman, 2018 


The genus Adelogorgia is distinguished from other holaxonians in having conspicuously ornamented double-disc sclerites and leaf clubs in the coenenchyme, and non-mineralised axis cores. The two eastern Pacific species currently recognised as Adelogorgia are diagnosed and illustrated. Three new species for the genus are described from new localities and depth ranges. Analysis of external and internal characters, especially sclerite colours and sizes, and colony colour, shape and branching, allows separating the species. An identification key to the five species is provided, as well as a character table for comparisons. This study was based on newly collected specimens from 50 to 200 m deep, and re-examination of all historical material. We conclude that the genus comprises five valid species with a wider distribution than previously reported. This research is a contribution to the octocoral systematics and biodiversity from mesophotic and deep waters.

Keywords: Anthozoa, Adelogorgia, Alcyonacea, biodiversity, eastern Pacific, plexaurid, soft corals, taxonomy

Class Anthozoa Ehrenberg, 1834
Subclass Octocorallia Haeckel, 1866

Order Alcyonacea Lamouroux, 1816
Family Plexauridae Gray, 1859

Genus Adelogorgia Bayer, 1958
Adelogorgia Bayer, 1958: 46; Bayer 1978: 1026–1027; Harden 1979: 137.

Type species. Adelogorgia phyllosclera Bayer, 1958 by original designation Type locality. La Jolla, California. Diagnosis (modified from Bayer, 1958; 1978). Colonies bushy, fan-shaped or sparsely branched. Branching lateral, irregular, or dichotomous; with moderately thick coenenchyme; polyps fully retractile, communicating directly with the longitudinal canal system (gastrodermal canals, solenia); anthocodia with eight subtentacular points consisting of spinous rods, not forming a distinct collaret. Polyp mounds prominent, slightly raised or flat, without specific types of sclerites, but leaf clubs concentrated around polyp apertures. Outer coenenchyme with conspicuous double discs with expansions on one side having various degrees of ornamentation; tuberculate spindles and leaf clubs. Axial sheath containing less developed spindles, radiates and capstans. Axis with wide cross-chambered central core. Loculi between lamellae and central core without mineralised filaments. Colony colours white, lemon-yellow, pink, orange and various hues of red. Sclerites of the same colours and colourless.

Distribution. The species has been reported from La Jolla, California, USA; Galápagos Islands, Ecuador (Bayer 1958, 1978); Baja California, Mexico (Harden 1979); and recently found along Pacific coast of Costa Rica and off Pacific coast of Panamá. Reported from 30 to 300 m deep (Cairns et al. 2002).

Adelogorgia phyllosclera Bayer, 1958

Adelogorgia telones Bayer, 1978

FIGURE 8. Adelogorgia osculabunda sp. nov., MZUCR 2494 (OCT-0083) (holotype)
(A) colony; (B) detail of the branches; (C) sclerites. 

Adelogorgia osculabunda sp. nov. 

Habitat and Distribution. The species has been collected by bottom trawls from sandy or muddy-sand substrata. It was also obtained from fishing lines and nets from rocky shoals, where the colonies were ripped as bycatch or were entangled in the lines from 40 to 60 m deep. Adelogorgia osculabunda was commonly collected together with Leptogorgia regis Hickson, 1928, Muricea fruticosa Verrill, 1868, Muricea subtilis Breedy and Guzman, 2016 and two Psammogorgia species. The species was found at various localities in Costa Rica, from: off Salinas Bay and Santa Elena Bay to Cape Santa Elena, Guanacaste (northern Pacific); and Punta Mala, Puntarenas (central Pacific) that suggests a wide distribution of the species along the Pacific. In Panamá, Pearl Islands, the colonies were obtained by dredging at 80 m deep, which presently represents the deepest record.

Etymology. Named osculabunda, Latin adjective derived from osculumlittle mouthkiss. In Latin context, osculabunda is the one that covers with kisses, in allusion to the red prominent polyp-mounds that cover the branches. Remarks. This species is similar to A. hannibalis in the prominent polyp-mounds showing a little darker orange contrasting with the colony colour, but is not as evident as in A. osculabunda. Thinner colonies of A. osculabunda look similar to A. hannibalis, but in A. osculabunda, the polyp-mounds are closer and stiffer than in A. hannibalis. Additionally, sclerite analysis shows clear differences between the two species.

FIGURE 10. Adelogorgia hannibalis sp. nov., STRI 1206 (holotype)
(A) colony; (B) detail of the branches; (C) sclerites. 

Adelogorgia hannibalis sp. nov. 

Habitat and Distribution. The species was found on the Hannibal Bank, a coastal guyot-type seamount that rises from approximately 500 m to 45 m, located 50 km from the mainland (Cunningham et al. 2013). The seamount is relatively protected as part of the Coiba National Park and World Heritage. The species was found on rocky substrate with strong currents. It is only known from the type locality, Hannibal Bank, from 180 to 200 m deep.

Etymology. Named after the Hannibal Bank and the surveyor USS Hannibal that discovered and charted the bank for the first time, presumably in 1934. The name Hannibal evokes the Carthaginian general, considered one of the greatest military commanders in ancient history. In genitive: hannibalis (L) meaning ¨of Hannibal¨.

FIGURE 12. Adelogorgia adusta sp. nov., STRI-HH 1220 (holotype).
(A) colony; (B) detail of the branches; (C) sclerites. B, photograph by Sean Mattson. 

Adelogorgia adusta sp. nov. 

Habitat and Distribution. The species was found in the Hannibal Bank, on rocky substrates impacted by currents. Adelogorgia adusta is only known from the type locality Hannibal Bank, from 73 to 94 m deep.

Etymology. Named adusta, Latin adjective meaning burntscorchedcharred, in allusion to the burnt appearance that the colony takes after fixation. The word adustus, in Castellan language, adusto, was evoked in verse 62 of The Fable of Polifemo and Galatea (Spanish poet Luis de Góngora) referring to the son of the Pirineo (giant mount) who supposedly was put in flames

Odalisca Breedy and Hector M. Guzman. 2018. Revision of the Genus Adelogorgia Bayer, 1958 (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Octocorallia) with the Description of Three New Species.  Zootaxa. 4369(3); 327–348.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4369.3.2

New Fractal-like Soft Coral Species Discovered in Panama and Costa Rica


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