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General Description

Unitary (non-colonial), free-living polyps found in large groups of tens to thousands of individuals on the mudstone surrounding a methane cold seep. The body wall is encrusted, containing white and dark coloured sand particles up to ~200 µm in diameter. The outside of the polyps is a light coffee brown/grey colour. Upon close inspection the outside is mottled black, brown and white owing to the encrusted particles and not pigment. There are no capitular ridges clearly visible, and the outer polyp surface is rough with the encrusted particles. The outer polyp surface region around the oral disk (when the polyp is closed) is slightly lighter than the rest of the external surface of polyp and there are fewer encrusting particles. The oral disk and tentacles are light cream in colour, but the existing images are of a low resolution so the exact oral disk and tentacle colour are uncertain. The mesogleal thickness is between 250–850 µm, and the polyp diameter (of closed polyps) measures 1.60–3.30 mm. The closed polyp height is 3.50–5.65 mm. The expanded oral disks is estimated (from in situ images) to be ~6–10 mm in diameter and the expanded polyps are up to 3 cm in height. The polyps are relatively uniform in diameter towards both the oral opening and base, but are slightly narrower in the middle of the polyp. The tentacle count is unknown (as no high resolution in situ images exist), but based on other zoanthid species, they are likely to number close to the mesentery count (~19–22, although the number of complete mesenteries unknown owing to damage incurred during sectioning).

(Reimer et al., 2007)


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