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Catalogue of alcyonacean specimens preserved in the Department of Zoology, the University Museum, the University of Tokyo

Yukimitsu Imahara

Wakayama Laboratory, Biological Institute on Kuroshio (Kuroshio Biological Research Foundation), 300-11 Kire, Wakayama, 640-0351 Japan

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The alcyonacean collection housed in the University Museum, the University of Tokyo, consists of Japanese specimens from off the Boso Peninsula to the Ryukyu Islands, including the Bonin Islands and the coral grounds of Kochi and Kagoshima, as well as specimens from several foreign countries, viz., the Philippines, Ponape Island (= Pohnpei Island, Federated States of Micronesia), Palau Islands (= Republic of Palau), and Naples, Italy, collected between 1892 and 1923. The majority were collected from Sagami Bay, probably representing the collections of the Misaki Marine Biological Laboratory and the Department of Zoology, Tokyo Imperial University (the predecessor of the present University of Tokyo). Almost all of the specimens had been stored in ethanol, although several specimens had been stored in formalin. A total of 112 jars of specimens were found, including 20 jars identified by earlier workers to 16 species, 5 jars identified to 4 genera, and 3 jars identified to 3 families. The scientific names were determined by the present author based on observation of specimens' external appearance and by reference to the label data and the references cited herein. The anthocodial formula was also referred to in the case of polyps possessing anthocodial armed sclerites. The specimens were found to comprise a total of 77 species, including 32 unidentified species, now divided among 125 jars. The following three type specimens were rediscovered in the present study:

Carotalcyon sagamianum Utinomi (UMUTZ-Cnid-A-81, Holotype)

Chromonephthea hirotai (Utinomi) (UMUTZ-Cnid-A-104, Holotype)

Telesto tubulosa Kinoshita (UMUTZ-Cnid-A-103, Holotype)

The following three type specimens expected to be present were not found and may be lost:

Paratelesto rosea (Kinoshita) (Holotype), one colony, Miyake Island, south of Izu Province, 10 August 1893, collected by S. Hirota.

Telesto sagamina Kinoshita (Syntypes), two fragments probably belonging to one colony, Dohketsuba, Sagami Bay, 60 fathoms (i.e., ca. 110 m), October, 1908, collected by Kinoshita himself.

The list was made, in principle, according to the recent system outlined by G. C. Williams and S. D. Cairns on the web-site . For each specimen or lot, the scientific name and collecting information are provided in the following order: 1, registration number; 2, number of specimens included in the jar; 3, type status; 4, collecting locality; 5, collection date; 6, collector's name(s); 7, original label data; 8, reference(s); 9, remarks. The entries are abbreviated if there was no information on the label or in the references. The traditional Japanese unit for measuring depth, the "hiro" is taken here as equivalent to one fathom.


I would like to express my cordial thanks to Dr. Rei Ueshima, the University of Tokyo, for offering me the opportunity to examine such an interesting octocorallian collection. My thanks also go to Fumihito Iwase, Head of the Biological Institute on Kuroshio, for his kind help in reading the difficult specimen labels, to Dr. Hiroshi Namikawa, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, for kindly providing information on the old names of fishing grounds in Sagami Bay, Dr. Mayumi Yamada, emeritus professor of Hokkaido University, for kindly providing information on Kumao Kinoshita, and to Dr. Mark J. Grygier, Lake Biwa Museum, for revision of the English manuscript.

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