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 Gorgoniidae

Leptogorgia setacea (Pallas, 1766)

Gorgonia setacea Pallas, 1766:182.

Remarks. Leptogorgia setacea is usually unbranched and often completely unattached. When it is attached it is usually to a small, vacant bivalve shell. The single branch is usually between 2 and 4 mm in diameter and can reach 2 m in length (Deichmann 1936). The calyces are arranged in a single or multiple rows along the sides of the branch, and often are a darker color than the coenenchyme. The calyces may be moderately prominent or flush with the coenenchyme. Sclerites are in the form of acute, warty spindles reaching 0.2 mm in length and smaller, belted disc spindles and capstans. Anthocodial rods are usually less than half the length of the large spindles. The colonies are purple, yellow, or pale lavender with dark purple calyces.
This species shares many characters with L. virgulata, especially with regard to spiculation. Most L. setacea colonies are easily recognizable based on colony morphology, but if only fragments of colonies are available, close examination of the sclerites is necessary. Both L. setacea and L. virgulata are common along the southeastern coast of the US and penetrate into lower salinity habitats such as tidal creeks and bays.
There are numerous lots of this species in the NMNH from the shallow SAB.

Atlantic distribution: Chesapeake Bay to Florida, Gulf of Mexico, Colombia to Brazil 1-68 m (one record from Guyana indicates collection at 9245 m, but this is likely an error in the data). Deichmann recorded specimens from Bahamas and West Indies, but no depth was mentioned (Deichmann, 1936; Bayer, 1961; NMNH collections; SERTC collection).

Leptogorgia setacea (S2123); a, b) spindles from coenchyme; c, d) disk spindles from coenchyme; e) anthocodial rod
Figure 4. Leptogorgia setacea (S2123); a, b) spindles from coenenchyme; c, d) disk spindles from coenenchyme; e) anthocodial rod (scale bar = 20 µm)

Leptogorgia setacea, preserved specimen (S2123), whole colony
Figure 1. Leptogorgia setacea, preserved specimen (S2123), whole colony.

Leptogorgia setacea section, preserved specimen (S2123)
Figure 2. Leptogorgia setacea section, preserved specimen (S2123). Scale bar = 3mm.

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