Sclerobelemnon theseus Bayer, 1959b:33,
Remarks. This species has a club-like
shape with the stalk slightly longer than the rachis. The distal
end of the peduncle is slightly pointed and not inflated to any
extent. The examined specimen is about 7 mm at its widest point and
65 mm in length. The rachis contains some exert autozooids but most
are contracted, with minute, indistinct siphonozooids scattered
between calyces. The autozooids are arranged in 12 indistinct longitudinal
rows, leaving a bare dorsal streak along the back of the colony.
The axis is slightly flexible and the coenenchyme is tough and rubbery.
The color of the colony is creamy white in alcohol.
The autozooids contain sclerites in the form of plates that resemble
double sided axes or plates with a medial constriction, reaching
0.3 mm in length. Some plates have serrated edges or a distal ridge
along the edge. The body wall contains similar plates with a medial
constriction and serrations, and the stalk contains smaller plate-like
bodies. This is the first record of this species in the South Atlantic
Bight, although one specimen in the USNM from Cape Fear is identified
as Sclerobelemnon sp. and was not examined for this work.
Atlantic distribution: Charleston, 79 m, Gulf of
Mexico (unknown depth), Surinam, Trinidad, 57 m (Bayer, 1959b; Bayer,
1961; Williams, 1995; NMNH collections; SERTC collection).
Figure 1. Sclerobelemnon theseus, preserved specimen (S2312);
left) whole colony; right) close up of rachis showing dorsal streak
Figure 2. Sclerites of Sclerobelemnon theseus
(S2312), from stalk. Scale bar = 50 µm.