The South Atlantic Bight
Octocoral Morphology

Gorgonacean Bauplan

List of Species

published version (DeVictor & Morton, Zootaxa 2599)
see this for keys

Occurrence Table

Notes on the Species
Carijoa riisei
Scleranthelia rugosa
Telesto fruticulosa
Telesto nelleae
Telesto sanguinea
Bellonella rubistella
Pseudodrifa nigra
Nidalia occidentalis
Iciligorgia schrammi
Diodogorgia nodulifera
Titanideum frauenfeldii
Muricea pendula
Thesea nivea
Bebryce cinerea
Bebryce parastellata
Scleracis guadalupensis
Leptogorgia hebes
Leptogorgia punicea
Leptogorgia cardinalis
Leptogorgia virgulata
Leptogorgia setacea
Leptogorgia euryale
Viminella barbadensis
Renilla reniformis
Sclerobelemnon theseus
Stylatula elegans
Virgularia presbytes

References Cited

Suggested Reading/Viewing


Family Anthothelidae

Diodogorgia nodulifera (Hargitt, in Hargitt and Rogers, 1901)

Solanderia nodulifera Hargitt, 1901 in: Hargitt and Rogers:279, fig. C, 1, 3-5.

Remarks. Fragments of the only two samples of this species recorded in the SAB were examined for this work, as well as a sample from a colony (USNM 49705) collected south of the SAB for comparison because of the variance in colony morphology. The southern colony displays the most common form and could conceivably be found in the SAB. The southern colony sample is yellow with red, moderately protruding polyp mounds and the cylindrical stem is approximately 5 mm in diameter. A ring of boundary canals divides the cortex and medulla.  The cortex has a dense outer layer and spongy inner layer separated by a plexus of solenia. The outer cortex and polyp mounds contain small tuberculated spheroids, tuberculated, irregularly branched bodies, capstans and slender, warty, amber spindles. Also present are elongated, sparsely warted spindles. The neck of the polyps contain small, red tuberculated spheroids and branched bodies. The medulla contains light pink warted rods that are occasionally branched.
One sample from the SAB is an unbranched fragment that is entirely red with an inflated tip; this specimen appears to conform to some degree with Deichmann’s (1936) description of Diodogorgia ceratosa. The polyp mounds protrude much more than those of the southern specimen and are almost cylindrical. The coenenchyme completely surrounds a hollow tube similar to the description in Deichmann (1936), suggesting an encrusting nature around a worm tube. The cortical spindles are more robust than those in the southern specimen, and a few long, bent, coarsely warted spindles are present. The medulla contains branched, warted rods similar to those in the southern specimen, as well as spindles. It is noted that the small portion of material available for study limited sclerite examination.

Atlantic distribution: Georgia to Surinam, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, 20-183 m (Deichmann, 1936; Bayer, 1959; Bayer, 1961; NMNH collections; SERTC collection)

Sclerites of Diodogorgia nodulifera (S2698). a,b) rods of medulla; c) spindle of cortex; d-f) radiates of cortex.

Diodogorgia nodulifera, preserved specimen (S2698)
Figure 1. Diodogorgia nodulifera, preserved specimen (S2698)(scale bar = 1 cm).

Diodogorgia nodulifera, preserved specimen (branch of USNM 49705)
Figure 2. Diodogorgia nodulifera, preserved specimen (branch of USNM 49705).




Figure 3. Sclerites of Diodogorgia nodulifera (S2698). a,b) rods of medulla; c) spindle of cortex; d-f) radiates of cortex. Scale bar for a-c = 50 µm; d-f = 10 µm.

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