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 Virgulariidae

Stylatula elegans (Danielssen, 1860)

Virgularis elegans Danielssen, 1860:277.

Remarks. This species has distinct needle-like sclerites arranged in a supporting fan in the basal section of the polyp leaves, which contain up to six autozooids. There are approximately 10 large needles in each fan, reaching 1 mm in length, with smaller needles interspersed. These leaves and fans flank the axis in an alternate opposite, bilateral arrangement. The axis measures up to 0.4 mm in diameter. The polyps contain rod-like sclerites which are not easily visible. In the specimens examined that were complete, the leaf pairs are closer together towards the peduncle but more spread out distally.
Of the three specimens examined, one is a fragment and two are complete. The complete specimens have significantly smaller polyps and axis diameter, and only reach a total length of 65–75 mm. The fragment has a wider axis width and leaves, which are separated by approximately 4 mm. All specimens have a white axis with light brown polyps, and white needles.

Atlantic distribution: Norway (type), New Jersey to Cape Canaveral, Dry Tortugas, 20-812 m (Deichmann, 1936; Bayer, 1958; Williams 1995; NMNH collections; SERTC collection).

Stylatula elegans, preserved specimen S2594 Stylatula elegans, preserved specimen USNM 10068
Figure 1. Stylatula elegans, preserved specimens. left) S2594; right) USNM 10068 (scale bar = 1mm)

Stylatula elegans (S2594), showing sclerites in fan structure beneath autozooids.
Figure 2. Stylatula elegans (S2594), showing sclerites in fan structure beneath autozooids.


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