Antennella variabilis Fraser, 1936c

Calder, Dale R. & Choong, Henry H. C., 2018, Names of hydroids (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) established by Charles McLean Fraser (1872 - 1946), excluding those from Allan Hancock Expeditions, Zootaxa 4487 (1), pp. 1-83: 55

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Antennella variabilis Fraser, 1936c


Antennella variabilis Fraser, 1936c 

Antennella variabilis Fraser, 1936c: 52  , pl. 2, figs. 6 a –d.

Syntypes. BCPM 976-00821-001: Japan, Sagami Bay, Amadaiba, 26 September 1933, 91 m, on a hydrozoan; 60% IPA.

BCPM 976-00822-001: Japan, Sagami Bay , Kameki rocks, 0 2 August 1933, 46 m  ; 60% IPA.

BCPM 976-00823-001: Japan, Sagami Bay , Amadaiba, 0 7 September 1933, 73 m  ; 60% IPA.

BCPM 976-00824-001: Japan, Sagami Bay , Okinose, 22 September 1933, 91  - 110 m, on a sponge; 60% IPA.

BCPM 976-00825-001: Japan, Sagami Bay ; slide. 

Lectotype, by present designation. RBCM 976-00823-002: Japan, Sagami Bay, Amadaiba, 0 7 September 1933, 73 m, one colony, to ca. 1.5 cm high, in good condition, with numerous gonophores; 70% ethanol.

Paralectotypes. BCPM 976-00823-001: Japan, Sagami Bay, Amadaiba, 0 7 September 1933, 73 m, on bryozoans and other hydroid species, several colonies or colony fragments, to ca. 1.5 cm high, in good condition, some with gonophores; 60% IPA.

Type locality. Japan: “ Various localities in Sagami Bay ” ( Fraser 1936c); restricted here to Sagami Bay, Amadaiba, 73 m. 

Current status. Species inquirenda.

Remarks. Antennella variabilis  was described by Fraser (1936c), based on specimens in the collection of Emperor Hirohito, from several locations in Sagami Bay, Japan. He designated no name-bearing types, but syntypes of material identified as the species exist in the Fraser Hydroid Collection at the RBCM ( BCPM 976- 00821-001, BCPM 976-00822-001, BCPM 976-00823-001, BCPM 976-00824-001, BCPM 976-00825-001). After examining each of these collections, we selected a colony from one of them ( BCPM 976-00823-001) as the lectotype ( RBCM 976-00823-002). Of the material available it is in the best condition, with numerous gonothecae being present. The lectotype designation fixes the identity of A. variabilis  as a species somewhat resembling the better known A. quadriaurata Ritchie, 1909  , but one that appears to be significantly smaller and more gracile  in colony form.

In his account on the hydroids of Sagami Bay, Hirohito (1995) assigned A. variabilis  to the synonymy of A. secundaria ( Gmelin, 1791)  . However, he noted that some of the colonies referred to the species by Fraser resembled A. paucinoda Fraser, 1935b  in having two pairs of lateral nematothecae beside each hydrotheca, as in A. quadriaurita  . Indeed, our examination of the original syntypes confirms that Fraser’s (1936c) A. variabilis  was based on more than a single species. Specimens in the series resembling A. secundaria  , lacking two pairs of lateral nematothecae and having a single axillar one instead ( BCPM 976-00824-001; BCPM 976-00825-001), are excluded here from the paralectotype series of A. variabilis  above. So too is material close to or identical with more robust species such as A. paucinoda  and A. quadriaurata  ( BCPM 976-00821-001, BCPM 976-00822-001). Schuchert (1997, 2015) included A. variabilis  in the synonymy of A. quadriaurita  , but it appears to be a distinct morphotype and is considered a species inquirenda here.

No hydroids identified as A. variabilis  are currently listed in the online database of collections at the NMNS. Notably, however, Hirohito (1995) had referred A. variabilis  to the synonymy of A. secundaria  , and any specimens earlier identified as the former may be listed there under the latter name.


British Columbia Provincial Museum


Empresa Pernambucana de Pesquisa Agropecu�ria, IPA


Royal British Columbia Museum














Antennella variabilis Fraser, 1936c

Calder, Dale R. & Choong, Henry H. C. 2018

Antennella variabilis

Fraser, 1936c : 52