(Milne Edwards & Haime), 1857
Gorgonia punicea Milne edwards and Haime,
Remarks. Colonies of L. punicea
display open pinnate branching and prominent calyces which are in
double rows on two sides of the branches. The examined specimen
is in fragments but probably had a total height of less than 10
cm, and the branches are 1 mm wide exclusive of calyces. The sclerites
consist of acute spindles, blunt capstans and flat, scalloped anthocodial
rods. The spindles and flattened rods reach 0.12 mm in length and
are roughly four times longer than wide and the blunt capstans are
slightly shorter. The spindles and capstans are reddish orange with
pink anthocodial rods. The color of the colony is generally purple
or reddish purple.
Smaller colonies of this species may resemble Leptogorgia cardinalis
or Leptogorgia miniata. L. miniata is not reported
in this range, but specimens are easily distinguished from L.
punicea by examining the anthocodial rods, which are significantly
larger than the largest spindles. L. cardinalis has less
curvature to the branches, less prominent calyces, and slender,
more acute spindles than L. punicea.
Atlantic distribution: North Carolina, 62-105
m; Georgia, 20 m; Gulf of Mexico, 23 m; southern Florida, 27-73
m; Venezuela to Brazil, 1-69 m (Bayer, 1961; NMNH collection; SERTC
Figure 3. Leptogorgia punicea (USNM 61096);
a-c) spindles from coenenchyme; d) radiate from coenenchyme; e-g)
anthocodial rods (scale bar = 20 µm).
Figure 1. Leptogorgia punicea, preserved specimen (S2743),
fragment (scale bar = 1 cm).
Figure 2. Leptogorgia punicea, preserved
specimen (S2743), showing branching of colony (scale bar = 1 cm).