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29. Australogorgia, new genus




DIAGNOSIS. Colonies dichotomously branched in one plane in a regular manner. Calyces large, with a tendency to be arranged unilinearly on one branch face, the appressed calyces oriented perpendicular to branch to downward against the branch. Well-developed operculum present, the operculars prominently keeled on inner surface; tentacles contain numerous, small, rods (Figure 13t). Polyps protected by two longitudinal rows of three large abaxial body wall scales, one pair of slightly smaller inner-lateral marginals (Figure 13x), and one pair of adaxial marginals (Figure 13v); marginal scales do not fold over operculum. Adaxial side of polyp also covered with small, irregularly arranged, elliptical scales. Thus, there are only six marginal scales (Figure 13s), the wide abaxial marginals occupying space usually covered by outerlateral marginals, and only two rows of body wall scales. Coenenchymal scales elongate and granular, arranged in one layer.


DISCUSSION. The tendency toward unilinearly arranged calyces and the presence of only six marginal scales in each polyp are unique for this genus. Also, it is unusual for there to be such an abundance of tentacular rods. Otherwise, its marginal scales resemble those of Primnoa in shape, and its low, fixed number of abaxial body wall scales resembles that of Narella and Paranarella, although its abaxial scales do not encircle the polyp as they do in those genera.


DISTRIBUTION. Known only from the type locality off southeastern Tasmania 987–1,200 m .


ETYMOLOGY. Greek australis = southern + gorgia,


a common octocoral suffi x, in allusion to the southern


distribution of the genus. Gender: feminine.


Type Species. Australogorgia aldersladei, new species, here designated. Holotype deposited at the NTM (CO 13054).”


(Bayer and Cairns, 2009)


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Source: Antarctic Invertebrates Website (NMNH)

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