Three species of gorgonians (Primnoa pacifica, Calcigorgia japonica, and Thouarella superba) are reported as new records for the northwestern Sea of Japan; one of them (Calcigorgia japonica sp. n.) has been described as a new species. Variations of colony morphology in some species are described; the taxonomical value of specific characters is discussed. The geographical range of Primnoa pacifica in the northwestern Pacific is shown to be wider than was considered earlier. Variations of sclerite morphology (number of marginal plates, presence of additional basal plates, and number of marginal spines on the basal plate) are regarded as intracolonial or intraspecific variability. The distribution range of Thouarella superba described earlier from the Aleutian Islands (Nutting, 1912) was shown to extend into the low-boreal part of the boreal Pacific. An examined specimen of Paragorgia sp. differed from all known species and appeared similar only to P. regalis Nutting, 1912 reported from the eastern coast of Japan. The most distinctive characters of Calcigorgia japonica sp. n. were the shape of polyp, with a thin lower part looking like folded podia (in fixed specimens) and the presence of two types of clubs scattered among the sclerites of the polyp.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 16, 2007
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