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A list of the sipunculan collection of the Department of Zoology, the University Museum, the University of Tokyo

Teruaki Nishikawa1) and Rei Ueshima2)

1)The Nagoya University Museum, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, 464-8601 Japan
2)Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-0033 Japan

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Historical Background

The sipunculan collection housed in the University Museum, the University of Tokyo (coded UMUTZ-Spc), consists of 81 jars in total, 77 of which are classified into 16 species and the remaining are unidentifiable at the order or specific level. Specimens in the collection were collected between 1884 and 1938 mainly from Japanese coasts ranging from Kinkazan Is. in Sendai Bay in the north, to the Okinawa Islands (mostly by I. Ikeda, see below) and the Ogasawara Islands (by Messrs S. Hirota and R. Sekiguchi, see Hirota, 1894) in the south; and also rarely from the Philippines (by a famous ichthyologist B. Dean, see Ikeda, 1905) and Naples, Italy.

The collection was built mainly by Professor Iwaji Ikeda (1872-1922), the first Japanese taxonomist of sipunculans, judging from the hand-written small labels of “I. Ikeda” included in most jars. It contains a part of the specimens described by Ikeda (1904, 1905), while lacking the material for Ikeda’s (1924) paper. After studying in, and then working as a lecturer for the College of Science, Tokyo Imperial University, he moved as a professor to Hiroshima Higher Normal School (a predecessor of the present Hiroshima University) and, then to Kyoto Imperial University (a predecessor of the present Kyoto University) until his death, according to the obituary given by Prof. Seitaro Goto in the preface of Ikeda’s (1924) paper published posthumously. At present, his sipunculan specimens can be found exclusively in the University of Tokyo. Unfortunately, many of his specimens including the name-bearing types were lost, as mentioned below.

For reference, the second Japanese taxonomist of sipunculans is the late Dr. Hayao Sato, whose collection is kept in Tohoku University (for the list of Sato’s name-bearing types see Sonobe, 1974; for the taxonomy see Cutler and Cutler, 1981).

It seems that the sipunculan collection of the University of Tokyo remained unstudied until 1979 when Prof. Edward B. Cutler and Ms. Norma J. Cutler of Utica College of Syracuse University, U. S. A., made a thorough survey of the collection, except for some specimens rediscovered afterwards. Their results became an important part of their comprehensive works on the Japanese sipunculan fauna (Cutler and Cutler, 1981; Cutler, et al., 1984). They left an unpublished list of the collection in the University of Tokyo, but unfortunately it disappeared recently there. However, their labels put in jars have been very helpful for making the present inventory.


  We would like to express our cordial gratitude to Prof. Edward B. Cutler of Harvard University for critical reading of the manuscript with helpful comments.

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