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The Status and Ecology of Rhabdopleura Compacta (Hemichordata) from Plymouth

  • A. R. D. Stebbing (a1)

The first specimens of Rhabdopleura to be found were dredged by G.O. Sars from a depth of 120 fm (220 m) at Skraaven (Fig. 1) in the Lofoten Islands during 1866. They were mentioned in a fauna list by M. Sars (1868) as Halilophus mirabilis, and fully described by G.O. Sars (1872, 1874) as Rhabdopleura mirabilis. By that date AUman (1869 a-c) had described Rhabdopleura normani. His specimens had been dredged from 90 fm (165 m) off the Shetland Islands in 1868 by A. M. Norman and J. G. Jeffreys. Burdon-Jones (1954) gives the locality more precisely as:lsquo;… a depth of 93 fm at a point in the outer Haaf, some 40 miles east of Whalsey Skerries’ (Fig. 1). In 1880 Hincks described a third species which he named R. compacta because of its distinctive habit of growth. The habitat and locality were somewhat inadequately given as: ‘On shells from deep water; Coast of Antrim’ (Fig. 1). Hincks makes acknowledgement to Hyndman for dredging these shells (Hincks, 1880). From 1857 to 1859 Hyndman was serving on the Belfast Dredging Committee and it is possible that the specimens of R. compacta, which Hincks had discovered in material sent to him by Hyndman many years previously, were among the polyzoan collections known to have been made off the coast of Antrim. Hyndman (1858) included a list of polyzoa identified by Hincks, from deep water near the Maidens' Rocks. The following year Hyndman (1859) included a further list of polyzoa identified by Hincks, for which specific localities are not given.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
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