Virgularia presbytes Bayer
1955:295, Figs. 1, 2a-e..
Remarks. Virgularia presbytes maintains a rigid, pen-like colony shape that has overlapping, fleshy leaves comprised of numerous autozooids, fused at the base in a fan-like manner. On the ventral side, the edges of the leaves are arranged in an imbricating manner, but they do not touch dorsally where they leave a very distinct bare track with a medial groove. The presence of the autozooids causes the leaves to appear heavily ridged. Between the leaves are small siphonozooids in multiple rows, visible only when the larger leaves are lifted to expose the rachis. The axis is white, rigid and becomes flattened towards the base. V. presbytes usually lacks spiculation.
Atlantic distribution: North Carolina to Florida,
Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Surinam, and Brazil, 9-91 m
(Bayer, 1955; Bayer, 1959b; Bayer, 1961; NMNH collections; SERTC collection).
Virgularia presbytes, preserved
specimens (S2125): (top left) polyp leaves with autozooids
(scale bar = 5mm); (right) full colony; (bottom left) bare dorsal