Calcigorgia spiculifera Broch, 1935

Matsumoto, Asako K., Van Ofwegen, Leen P. & Bayer, Frederick M., 2019, A revision of the genus Calcigorgia (Cnidaria, Octocorallia, Acanthogorgiidae) with the description of three new species, Zootaxa 4571 (1), pp. 1-27: 18-21

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Calcigorgia spiculifera Broch, 1935


Calcigorgia spiculifera Broch, 1935 

Figures 1dView FIGURE 1, 14View FIGURE 14 b–c, 16–20

Calcigorgia spiculifera Broch, 1935: 22  ; 1940: 11.(54°36'N, 143°48'E, Sea of Okhotsk, 165 m deep, «Ara» Trawl 27-1, Silty sand, Otter trawl, 8–9 Sep.1932, collector: P. Yu. Shmidt)

Calcigorgia spiculifera  ; Sanchez and Cairns 2004: 270.

Calcigorgia simushiri, Dautova 2018: 9  . (46°46'41”N, 151°55'23”E, East of Simushir I., Sea of Okhotsk, 200 m deep, “Tikhookeansky”, deredged, 16 Aug. 1987, S. Grebelnyi leg.)

? Calcigorgia spiculifera, Dautova 2018: 11  . (47°25'N, 152°42'E, Rikord Strait, Sea of Okhotsk, 440 m deep, RV”Oparin”, trawled, 1 Jul.1988, coll. Gruzov)

Material examined. Identified as C. spiculifera  by Bayer: USNM 1012500View Materials; neotype, NE of Islands of Four Mountains , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea: 53°11.67'N 169°41.07'W, depth 431 m, bottom temp, 3.6°C, F/ N Vesteraalen cruise 94-1, haul 44, 11 June 1994GoogleMaps  , one nearly complete colony, ( USNM-SEM Stub 2 539)  ; USNM 8849View Materials, Gull Island , Akutan Pass , Fox Islands , Aleutian Islands, East Bering Sea, U.S. Coast Survey, coll. Dall, William Healey, dry  ; USNM 75091View Materials, Queen Charlotte Strait , Near N End Of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, 50.87°N, 127.47°W, depth 30 to 50 m, scuba, coll. McDaniel, N. 1983GoogleMaps  ; USNM 82124View Materials, South of Umnak Island , Fox Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 52.8761°N, 168.795°W, depth 86 m, R/ V Miller Freeman cruise802,VH-80- 30, 5 August 1980GoogleMaps  ; USNM 100735View Materials, Tanaga Pass , between Ulak and Ilak I, Andreanof Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 51°26.98'N, 178°36.6'E, depth 393 m, bottom temp. 3.7°C, R/ V Pacific Knight, cruise 94-1, haul 161, 18 July 1994GoogleMaps  ; USNM 100805View Materials, Aleutian Islands , Near Islands, SW of Attu I., Bering Sea, 52.28°N, 172.30°W, depth 234 m, R/ V Starlight, 84-1, haul 36, 13 July 1984GoogleMaps  , Two colonies, 1 large in alc ( USNM-SEM Stub 2 534)  ; USNM 100807View Materials, Amatignak Island , Delarof Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 51°N, 179°W, R/ V Pacific Knight, cruise 941, haul 161, 18 July 1994  ; USNM 1006141View Materials, Umnak Island , Fox Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 52.6326°N, 169.788°W, depth 79 to 80 m, R/ V VesteraalenGoogleMaps  , NOAAAbout NOAA Expedition 2001, haul 3 #6, snail bag, coll. Lindner, A. 21 May 2001  ; USNM 1011013View Materials, Kirilof Point , near tip of point, Amchitka Island , Rat Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 51.42°N, 179.3°E, depth to 24 mGoogleMaps  , AB80-26, Scuba , vertical bedrock wall, coll. Barr, L. & Mercier, J., 2 June 1974  ; USNM 1011026View Materials, Alex's Grotto , gorgonian growth study site, Little Port Walter Light, Southeast Alaska, 56.39°N, 134.64°W, depth 290 m, John N. Cobb R /VGoogleMaps  , AB99-15, Scuba , coll. Stone, R. 2 June 1999  ; USNM 1011027View Materials, East Point , gorgonian growth study site, Tenakee Inlet, Southeast Alaska), 57.81°N, 134.95°W, depth 21 m, John N. Cobb R /VGoogleMaps  , AB99-14, Scuba , coll. Stone, R. 1 June 1999  ; USNM 1011029View Materials, Peril Strait , Liesnoi Island, Southeast Alaska, 57.42°N, 135.61°W depth 15 mGoogleMaps  , AB70-99, Scuba , coll. Ellis, Williamson, Hoopes, & Barr, 1 July 1970  ; USNM 1011030View Materials, Little Port Walter , Baranof Island , Alexander Archipelago, Southeast Alaska, 56.39°N, 134.64°W, depth 11 mGoogleMaps  , AB62-172, Scuba , coll. Guost, J. G. 8 May 1962  ; USNM1011091View Materials, Semisopochnoi Island , Petrel Bank , Rat Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 52.2243°N, 179.888°W, depth to 40 m, Delta DSR/V, Submersible Dive 5604GoogleMaps  , AB02-121, sample #27 & 28; coll. Malecha, P. 16 July 2002  ; USNM1011092View Materials, Adak Island , Rat Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 51.8864°N, 176.189°W, depth to 54 m, Delta DSR/V, Submersible Dive 5515GoogleMaps  , AB02-136, sample #57, coll. Stone, R. 22 July 2002  ; other material: USNM 60278View Materials, no data  ; USNM 80949View Materials, Off N Coast , Akun Island , Fox Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 54.2458°N, 165.689°W, depth 40 m, coll. Viada, S. T., 1 August 1985GoogleMaps  ; USNM 100777View Materials, Amchitka Island , Rat Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 51.23°N, 179.2°E, cruise 861, Trawl—Noreast, haul 52, 17 August 1986GoogleMaps  ; USNM 100809View Materials, SE of Kagalaska I., Andreanof Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 51°39.28’N, 176°13.2W, depth 216 m, bottom temp. 4.4 °C, F/ V Pacific Knight cruise 94-1, haul 153, 12 July 1994GoogleMaps  ; USNM 1006139View Materials, Unalaska Island , Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, 53.1439°N, 167.14°W, depth to 107 m, R/ V VesteraalenGoogleMaps  , NOAAAbout NOAA Expedition 2001, snail bag, haul 7 #1, coll. Lindner, A. 22 May 2001  ; USNM 1136483View Materials, Queen Charolette Sound , British Columbia, 51.7064°N, 130.752°W, depth to 284 m, coll. Driscoll, John, 11 June 2009GoogleMaps  ; USNM 1011072View Materials, Lisianski Strait , 50 yards from shore, Gulf of Alaska, 57.86°N, 136.46°W, depth 10 mGoogleMaps  , AB77-72, Scuba , coll. Carlson, H. R. 17 July 1977  ; USNM 1011273View Materials, Adak Island , Beyer Bay , Andreanof Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 51.6427°N, 176.328°W, depth to 24 m, R/ V VeleroGoogleMaps  IV, AB02-133, sample #52, 53, Scuba , coll. Stone, R., Malecha, P., Courtney, D. 21 July 2002  , dry; USNM 1011275View Materials, Little Tanaga Pass , Andreanof Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 51.8845°N, 176.189°W, depth to 52 m, Delta DSR/V, Submersible Dive 5515GoogleMaps  , AB02-139, sample #59, coll. Stone, R. 22 July 2002  ; USNM 1092786View Materials, Baranof Island , Cape Ommaney , Alexander Archipelago, Gulf of Alaska, 56.1781°N, 135.121°W, depth 244 m, R/ V VeleroGoogleMaps  IV, St.Ommaney 4, submersible, coll. Stone, R., 19 August 2005  ; USNM 1133587View Materials, South of Amilia Island , Andreanof Islands , Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, 51.9716°N, 173.946°W, depth to 96 m, Delta DSR/V, st. 6224, submersible, 6 July 2004GoogleMaps  .

Description (after the manuscript of Bayer). Branching is a mixture of openly lateral and irregularly dichotomous. There is a strong tendency to branch in one plane so the colonies are more or less flabellate, but in some cases major branches conspicuously diverge, probably in response to local environmental conditions, and colonies then have a more or less compressed, bushy aspect. The cylindrical polyps are up to 3 mm tall and 1.6 mm wide.

The sclerites conform with those of the type as far as illustrated by Broch (1935), differing somewhat in size as can be expected. The polyps are armed with tuberculate spindles that may be more or less club-like, the smaller ones up to about 0.18 mm in length, the longer about 0.3 mm ( Figure 16aView FIGURE 16) but intergrading with the spindles of the polyp body ( Figure 16bView FIGURE 16), which reach a length of 0.36 mm, sometimes slightly longer. The coenenchyme contains small capstans, double heads, and cylinders 0.07–0.11 mm in length, with indistinct waist intergrading with belted spindles reaching lengths of 0.12–0.15 mm ( Figure 17aView FIGURE 17), together with a few crosses and irregular forms ( Figure 16cView FIGURE 16, 17bView FIGURE 17).

Colour. All sclerites are colorless.

Distribution. Okhotsk Sea in 150–165 m, eastward through the Aleutian Islands, 4–435 m, NE Pacific ( Figure 1dView FIGURE 1).

Remarks. The type described by Broch (1935) seems to be missing in the University of Oslo, Norway or ZIN, St. Petersburg, Russia, but the USNM has a large number of specimens identified as C. spiculifera  with characters matching the description of Broch.

Bayer’s USNM-SEM 2539 stub used for showing complete polyps was taken from USNM 101 2500 ( Figures 14bView FIGURE 14, 18View FIGURE 18), and Bayer’s USNM-SEM 2534 stub was taken from USNM 100805 ( Figures 16–17View FIGURE 16View FIGURE 17). USNM 1012500 has been chosen as the neotype. The materials examined by Bayer were collected during NOAA Fishers bottom trawl surveys in the Aleutioan Islands of Alaska and sent by Dr.Wing to Bayer in the 1990s (personal comm. Dr. Robert Stone, NOAA Fisheries 2018.2.21).

Bayer mentioned that Broch’s original specimen obviously was a small colony dichotomously branched, but with only a single bifurcation that did not provide any idea of the branching of fully developed colonies. The specimens that Bayer examined agree so closely with Broch’s description of the holotype in regard to morphological details that there can be no doubt about their conspecificity. He mentioned all are fully developed colonies that show the mature branching pattern lacking in the type. The colony of USNM1133587 is unbranched and the shape looks similar to Broch’s description ( Figure 14cView FIGURE 14). This also could be an small colony but it has developed sclerites ( Figure 19View FIGURE 19).

The clubs are not always as long as mentioned above, USNM 1011030 has typical sclerites such as SEM 2534 ( Figure 16–17View FIGURE 16View FIGURE 17) though it has rather smaller clubs up to only 0.15 mm long ( Figure 20View FIGURE 20) obscuring the difference with C. beringi  .

The species differs from all others in having polyp spindles and club-like sclerites instead of real clubs. Bayer mentioned that C. beringi  has a more slender colonial form than C. spiculifera  . C. beringi  and C. spiculifera  have been collected at the same locality in the Bering Sea showing that they share a similar habitat ( Figure 1a, dView FIGURE 1). The sclerites shown by Dautova (2018: Figure 7–13View FIGURE 7View FIGURE 8View FIGURE 9View FIGURE 10View FIGURE 11View FIGURE 12View FIGURE 13) for C. simushiri  hardly differ from C. spiculifera  (see discussion). Therefore we here synonymize C. simushiri  with C. spiculifera  . The information about the specimen identified as C. spiculifera in Dautova (2018)  is not adequate to make a decision about what species that actually was. The locality of C. Simushiri  in Dautova (2018) are mostly the same as C.spiculifera in Dautova (2018)  ( Figure 1dView FIGURE 1).


National Oceanic and Atmospeheric Administration














Calcigorgia spiculifera Broch, 1935

Matsumoto, Asako K., Van Ofwegen, Leen P. & Bayer, Frederick M. 2019


Calcigorgia spiculifera

Sanchez, J. A. & Cairns, S. D. 2004: 270


Calcigorgia spiculifera

Broch, H. 1935: 22


Calcigorgia simushiri, Dautova 2018 : 9

Dautova, T. N. 2018: 9


Calcigorgia spiculifera, Dautova 2018 : 11

Dautova, T. N. 2018: 11