Culicia tenella tenella Dana, 1846, tenella Dana, 1846

Cairns, S. D., 2004, The Azooxanthellate Scleractinia (Coelenterata: Anthozoa) of Australia, Records of the Australian Museum 56, pp. 259-329: 274

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Culicia tenella tenella Dana, 1846


Culicia tenella tenella Dana, 1846  

Culicia tenella Dana, 1846: 377–378   , pl. 28, figs. 6a,b.– Not Hoffmeister, 1933: 11–12 (= C. hoffmeisteri   ).– Not Gardiner, 1939: 230 (= C. tenella natalensis   ).– Not Boshoff, 1981: 25 (= C. tenella natalensis   ).– Wells, 1955: 14 (Qld).–Stephenson & Wells, 1956: 55 (listed).– Squires, 1961: 18 (listed).– Wells, 1964: 109 (listed).– Veron, 1986: 600, figs. 1–3 (NSW).

Cylicia [sic] tenella   .–Milne Edwards & Haime, 1857: 608 (in part: not specimen from Cape of Good Hope).– Tenison-Woods, 1878b: 325 (remarks).

New record. QUEENSLAND: 20°33.16'S 149°05.28'E ( Thomas Island ), 30 m, 3 November 1988, 1 colony, USNM 86002 GoogleMaps   .

Types. The holotype is USNM 184. Type Locality: Port Jackson , New South Wales, depth unknown   .

Remarks. At least four species of Culicia   are known from Australia, all of them occurring off the coasts of the eastern states. Because they are found in shallow water they are easily and frequently collected, but all too often misidentified because this genus has never been revised. I have now examined the types of all four species as well as subsequently collected specimens from various museums, and present a table of differentiating characters ( Table 4) to aid in the distinction of these species. Based on a combination of four characters (calicular diameter, number of septa, septal arrangement, and axial edge ornamentation) most specimens can be identified. To elaborate on Table 4, C. tenella   can be distinguished by having relatively small corallites with laciniate axial septal edges. Culicia australiensis   has three size classes of 48 closely-spaced septa and the S1 axial edge is entire except for 1–2 small teeth near the columella. Culicia hoffmeisteri   has the largest corallites, only 24–26 well-spaced septa occurring in two size classes, and S1 axial edges that are coarsely lobate. Culicia quinaria   has septal margins like those of C. hoffmeisteri   , but are smaller in size and have a different septal arrangement.

Two other species of Culicia   , C. verreauxii   and C. smithi   , have been reported from Australia, but both are considered to be dubious records (see p. 319). Finally, Culicia magna (Tenison-Woods, 1878)   is a junior synonym of Scolymia australis (Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849)   .

Tenison-Woods (1878b: 325) made the confusing statement that “ Cylicia tenella   is said to come from Australia but Messrs. Ed. and H. refer it to the Cape.” It is true that Milne Edwards & Haime (1857) refer C. tenella   to both Australia and the Cape of Good Hope, but do not dispute that the type locality is Australia. Their African specimen is deposited at the BM and undoubtedly formed the basis for the description of Culicia tenella natalensis Duncan, 1876   .














Culicia tenella tenella Dana, 1846

Cairns, S. D. 2004

Cylicia [sic] tenella

Tenison-Woods, J 1878: 325

Culicia tenella

Veron, J 1986: 600
Boshoff, P 1981: 25
Wells, J 1964: 109
Squires, D 1961: 18
Wells, J 1955: 14
Gardiner, J 1939: 230
Hoffmeister, J 1933: 11
Dana, J 1846: 378