Puellina minervae, Judith L Winston, 2016

Judith L Winston, 2016, Bryozoa of Floridan Oculina reefs, Zootaxa 4071 (1), pp. 1-81: 29-30

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Puellina minervae

sp. nov.

Puellina minervae  sp. nov.

( Fig. 15View FIGURE 15; Table 14)

Material examined. Holotype: VMNH no. 70620. Additional material 70621. Paratype: USNM no. 1283241. Etymology. Named in honor of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, whose symbol is an owl.

Diagnosis. The ‘owl face’ formed by the V-shaped fused first costae and two large adjacent lacunae distinguishes this species from its sympatric congeners (see Fig. 15View FIGURE 15 A, C).

Description. Colony encrusting, unilamellar, on calcareous substrata. Zooids medium-sized, about 0.50 mm long by 0.30 mm wide (relatively large for Puellina  ), oval to hexagonal. Costal shield extending almost to zooid lateral margins, comprising 15–18 costae radiating from the zooidal center, their surface fairly flat, with very faint radiating rings, except at outer edge where each costa has a raised tubercle; between them are rows of lacunae, smaller at zooidal center, increasing in size toward outer edges of shield ( Fig. 15View FIGURE 15 A, B). First row of costae raised, fused in a V-shape ( Fig. 15View FIGURE 15 C); on either side of V are two oval lacunae, larger than intercostal lacunae. Gymnocyst more extensive proximally, narrowing laterally, not visible distally. Orifice transversely elongate, semicircular, with slightly convex proximal rim and 5 jointed, thick, hollow oral spines. Ooecium small relative to zooid size, imperforate and broadly helmet shaped; zooids with ooecia have wider orifice and only 4 orificial spines. Avicularia sparsely distributed in colonies, about half or less width of autozooids in size, rostrum tapering, with distinct condyles and triangular mandible ( Fig. 15View FIGURE 15 D). Ancestrula not seen.

Remarks. This species has affinities with both the Puellina  venusta  ’ and Puellina  radiata  ’ groups studied in detail by Bishop & Househam (1987); however, the costae are flatter and more radially arranged than those of Puellina venusta  , and the two large lacunae on either side of the fused first costae are very distinctive.

Distribution. East coast of Florida in offshore Oculina habitat  .

TABLE 14. Measurements in mm of Puellina minervae sp. nov.

Mean   0.325 0.048 0.093 0.202 0.201 0.266  
    0.037 0.005 0.007 0.015 0.016 0.043  
    0.270 0.036 0.081 0.180 0.171 0.180  
    0.396 0.054 0.108 0.234 0.234 0.342