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 punicea (Milne Edwards & Haime), 1857

Gorgonia punicea Milne edwards and Haime, 1857:160.

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 collection).

Leptogorgia punicea (USNM 61096); a-c) spindles from coenchyme; d) radiate from coenchyme; e-g) anthocodial rods
Figure 3. Leptogorgia punicea (USNM 61096); a-c) spindles from coenenchyme; d) radiate from coenenchyme; e-g) anthocodial rods (scale bar = 20 µm).

Leptogorgia punicea, preserved specimen (S2743), fragmen
Figure 1. Leptogorgia punicea, preserved specimen (S2743), fragment (scale bar = 1 cm).

Leptogorgia punicea, preserved specimen (S2743), showing branching of colony
Figure 2. Leptogorgia punicea, preserved specimen (S2743), showing branching of colony (scale bar = 1 cm).

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