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A re-examination of siphonophore terminology and morphology, applied to the description of two new prayine species with remarkable bio-optical properties

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2005

Steven H.D. Haddock
Affiliation:
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 7700 Sandholdt Rd, Moss Landing, California, 95039, USA
Casey W. Dunn
Affiliation:
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 06520 USA
Philip R. Pugh
Affiliation:
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK

Abstract

Siphonophores (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) are dominant members of the carnivorous plankton, and they are known for their ability to produce bioluminescence. Here we describe two new calycophoran species (sub-family Prayinae) that are unique in their morphological and optical traits. One species, Gymnopraia lapislazula gen. nov., sp. nov., displays a dramatic form of blue structural coloration, and the other, Lilyopsis fluoracantha, sp. nov., bears an exceptional amount of fluorescence–enough to give a greenish cast during white-light illumination. We also introduce a consistent terminology for siphonophore axes and zooids, discuss characters important for distinguishing the known prayine genera, and suggest that the presence or absence of a disjunct pedicular canal could be of diagnostic value for the group.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2005 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

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