Pannychia moseleyi Théel, 1882

Thandar, Ahmed S., 2008, Additions to the holothuroid fauna of the southern African temperate faunistic provinces, with descriptions of new species, Zootaxa 1697 (1), pp. 1-57 : 47-49

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1697.1.1

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Pannychia moseleyi Théel, 1882


Pannychia moseleyi Théel, 1882

Figure 18 View FIGURE 18

Pannychia moseleyi Théel, 1882: 88-90 , pls. 17, 32, figs. 1-13; Hansen, 1975: 72-75 (syn. & records), fig. 26.

Type NHML.

Type locality Off south-east Australia and New Zealand, ca. 1280-1737 m. Material examined

SAM-A28026, R.V. ‘ Africana’, South Coast Inshore Biomass & Horse Mackerel Survey, St. A15343 View Materials -116- DT02, off Plettenberg Bay , 35 o 03' S, 24 o 06' E, 28.ix. 1993, 1006 m, 1 spec. GoogleMaps

Distribution Cosmopolitan, 212-2598 m.

Habitat Grey ooze.


Specimen gelatinous, subcylindrical, 170 x 45 mm, pale violet dorsally, violet anteriorly and ventrally. Mouth ventral, no fringe of papillae. Tentacles 18, yellowish to deep violet. Papillae pink to white, difficult to perceive, except for those on left margin of body and anteriorly, arrangement also difficult to determine, not arising from wart-like prominences, anteriorly up to 12 mm long, shorter elsewhere, except for the single 17 mm one in the mid-dorsal region, generally occurring in pairs with tip of each member often impinging on tip of the other, forming an inverted V. Tube feet in three longitudinal series, those of ventro-lateral ambulacra in a single, often zigzag row, those of mid-ventral ambulacrum in two zigzag rows, generally short, non-retractile, ending in cup-shaped, pinkish-grey suckers, up to 6 mm in diameter.

Spicules of body wall typically wheels and small, circular, wheel-like plates. Wheels ( Figure 18A View FIGURE 18 ) only detected in dorsal body wall, of two sizes, sometimes incomplete, without rim. Larger wheels numerous, 250- 305 µm (mean 285 µm) with 11-16 spokes, with nave covered by 5-7 (rarely 4) central rays, never more, calcareous membrane within nave without pillar-like connection. Smaller wheels similar, 170-180 µm, spokes 13-14. Wheel-like plates ( Figure 18B & E View FIGURE 18 ) 44-60 µm (mean 53 µm), with smooth rim and 3-4 smooth central holes and usually a single series of 9-11 smooth, marginal holes. Papillae with few rods ( Figure 18C View FIGURE 18 ), 188-210 µm, with spinulated, non-perforate ends and one or two spines on margins, and numerous wheel-like plates similar to those of body wall. Tube feet spicules include similar rods ( Figure 18F View FIGURE 18 ), 80-220 µm (mean 115 µm), sometimes with a third arm, and complete or incomplete wheel-like plates, 38-58 µm (mean 48 µm); ‘end-plates’ ( Figure 18D View FIGURE 18 ) complex, fragile, made up of a loose network of branching and anastomosing rods/ plates. Tentacle deposits as curved, spinose rods ( Figure 18G View FIGURE 18 ), 80-425 µm, with spinulated, non-perforate ends and wheel-like plates, 36-54 µm, similar to those of ventral body wall.


This is a first record of this well-known cosmopolitan species from African waters. It is well characterized by large, cup-shaped sucking discs, small scattered dorsal papillae, wheels of a unique type, bearing marginal teeth on the inside of the rim and much smaller wheel-like perforated plates. Currently Pannychia is monotypic since Hansen (1975) relegated the other nominal species of the genus to the synonymy of the type species, P. moseleyi . The specimen at hand corresponds fairly well with Hansen’s description of material from Panama, differing in its fewer dorsal papillae, perhaps due to the lacerated epidermis, and the absence of wheels with an obvious vertical pillar connecting the nave. The specimen also corresponds well with Théel’s (1882) type material, except that in the type there is a central primary cross in nearly all wheels with up to 13 spokes. Wheels with up to 15 spokes, 5-6 central rays and a vertical pillar in the nave are found in the New Zealand material (see Hansen 1975). A primary cross with up to six central rays is also present in Indonesian specimens where the nave lacks a pillar. Specimens from north-west North America ( Edwards 1907) and northern Japan and the Aleutian Islands ( Ohshima 1915), have rods in the ventral body wall, a character, considered by Hansen as a geographic variation.














Pannychia moseleyi Théel, 1882

Thandar, Ahmed S. 2008

Pannychia moseleyi Théel, 1882: 88-90

Hansen, B. 1975: 72
Theel, H. 1882: 90