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Catalogue of pennatulacean 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 pennatulacean collection preserved in the University Museum, the University of Tokyo, contains 69 specimens belonging to 28 species. These specimens were collected between 1890 and 1926 mainly from Sagami Bay, although several specimens were collected from Ishinomaki Bay in Miyagi Prefecture, as well as the Okinawa Islands. A few came from the east coast of the U.S.A. The collectors included several famous Japanese zoologists of those days, such as Kakichi Mitsukuri, the first Japanese Professor of Zoology of Tokyo Imperial University; Isao Ijima, the next Professor following Mitsukuri; Kumakichi Aoki, the famous collector of the early period of the same university’s Misaki Marine Biological Laboratory; and Mikinosuke Miyajima. Miyajima was a student of those professors and the first Japanese Professor of Parasitology of Keio University, as well as the first scientist to work on the Pennatulacea in Japan. This collection also includes the materials of Thomson & Rennet (1927). They reported 24 species and one variety of Japanese Pennatulacea, probably at the request of Professor Ijima. Of these, 21 species in 39 lots were rediscovered in the present study, but four species and one variety were not found. The list was made, in principle, according to the recent system outlined by G. C. Williams and S. D. Cairns on the web-site . 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. 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; 9, remarks. The entries are abbreviated if no relevant information was provided on the label or in the references. The traditional Japanese unit for measuring depth, the “hito”, is taken here as equivalent to on 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, and to Dr. Mark J. Grygier, Lake Biwa Museum, for revision of the English manuscript.

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