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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

  • Steven H.D. Haddock (a1), Casey W. Dunn (a2) and Philip R. Pugh (a3)

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.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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