20 de noviembre de 2020

22 de octubre de 2020

Millepora ID

@joe_fish comment on observation https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/63227991

'I had to refresh my memory just now as to why I'd settled on M. tenera as the correct name, as there are quite a few Indo-Pacific taxa from this genus with a branching morphology. I'm going to write this all down so that I don't forget it all again. It's a bit complicated...

The oldest Indo-Pacific Millepora taxa, Millepora exaesa Forsskål 1775 and Millepora dichotoma Forskål 1775, were described from the Red Sea, where this branching species doesn't seem to occur. There are plenty of references to M. dichotoma outside the Red Sea, but these seem to be based on misidentifications.

M. tortuosa Dana 1848 would be the next oldest, described from Fiji. (figure 3); however, this seems to be a junior homonym of the Millepora tortuosa Esper 1797, which is actually an alga.

Next would be M. intricata Milne-Edwards 1860, which somewhat resembles this phenotype (figure 2a)... but that taxon was described from a specimen whose provenance was unknown, so it's debatable whether it should be considered a valid species or a nomen dubium (I'd argue for the latter), let alone whether it has any relation to this branching phenotype.

M. murrayi Quelch 1884 would be next... but it's phenotype is very distinct (figure 5), and thus it's unclear whether it is conspecific with the more loosely branched forms common to the Indo-Pacific. I've only seen a few specimens referable to the murrayi phenotype.

And then there's M. tenella Ortmann 1892, which is described from Tanzania and almost certainly refers to this branched phenotype (though it was unfortunately not illustrated in the description). Unfortunately, it is also a junior homonym, of Millepora tenella Esper, 1795... which seems to be a Seriatopora.

Which brings us to M. tenera Boschma 1949, which was established as a replacement name for the M. tenella described by Ortmann. This is the long and winding road that brings us to this valid name for this species... I think.'

Publicado el 22 de octubre de 2020 a las 11:00 PM por damienbr damienbr | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario