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Comprehensive Description

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Description

Briareopsis n. gen.

 

Diagnosis: Arborescent, monomorphic scleraxonians with coelenteric canals extending from gastrovascular cavity of autozooids downward into medulla poorly differentiated from cortex by a network of boundary canals. Sclerites in the form of tuberculate capstans, sparsely warty and thorny rods; anthocodiae with numerous sclerites not arranged as a crown and points.

 

Type species: Briareopsis aegeon n. sp., here designated.

 

Etymology: From Greek Βριάρεως, Briareos, a hundred-headed giant, source of the gene­ric name Briareum, + suffix -opsis from Greek οπσις, appearance. Gender, feminine.

 

Remarks: Assignment of this Antarctic deep-water form to the family Anthothelidae is suggested by the similarity of its sclerites to those of Tripalca Bayer, 1955, as well as a resemblance of its spongy cortical coenenchyme to the vesicular cortex of Tripalea. The coelenteric canals of Briareopsis penetrate the medulla more extensively than is usual in Anthothelidae, especially in the larger branches. A detailed anatomical investigation and review of all genera of Anthothelidae will be necessary to resolve the problem of familial relationship of this genus.”

 

(Bayer, 1993)

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© National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Source: Antarctic Invertebrates Website (NMNH)

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