Stylaster brochi (Cairns, Stephen D. & Lindner, Alberto 2011)
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- Stylaster brochi Cairns, Stephen D., 2011, ZooKeys 158: 3-3.
Description. Colonies variable in shape, ranging from planar (Fig. 11G) to multi-planar to bushy (Fig. 11A, E), the growth form possibly moderated by commensals (see Remarks). Branch tips usually blunt and circular to slightly flattened in cross section, 2.5-3.0 mm in diameter, more slender if affected by commensals; branch anastomosis not uncommon. Largest colony (USNM 96523) 28 cm in height; colonies attached by massive, dense basal branches up to 4.2 cm in diameter (USNM 96262). Coenosteum reticulate-granular in texture, coenosteal strips 50-60 µm wide, separated by thin slits about 10 µm wide; granules rounded, 7-8 µm in diameter. All colonies infested with spionid polychaetes (Polydora) and their characteristic binary axial tubes (see Remarks). Coenosteum pale orange. Cyclosystems circular, 0.9-1.1 mm in diameter, and slightly (about 1 mm) raised above coenosteum; cyclosystems uniformly arranged on three or all four sides of a branch, rarely in a linear fashion. Gastropores 0.35-0.40 mm in diameter. Gastropore tubes cylindrical, curved (Fig. 13J), and long (often 2-3 times length of gastrostyle), the length and curvature of tube making it difficult to see gastrostyle tip when viewed from above. Ring palisade absent or diffuse, the elements about 50 µm in height and diameter. Gastrostyles lanceolate and up to 0.7 mm in height, bearing long spines up to 70 µm in length. Dactylotomes 80-110 µm in width; dactylostyles poorly developed, the cylindrical elements about 20 µm in height and 8 µm in diameter. Range of dactylopores per cyclosystem 6-13 (n = 50, average = 9.22 (σ = 1.43), and mode = 10). Supernumerary dactylopores quite common on coenosteum (Fig. 13A-C) and even on pseudosepta, presenting as small (0.09-0.11 mm in diameter), circular, slightly raised (rimmed) pores. Pseudosepta variable in width (Fig. 13D), in the same cyclosystem varying between 0.11 and 0.30 mm; adcauline diastemas also frequently present, each about twice pseudoseptal width. Female ampullae (Fig. 13J) superficial hemispheres 0.8-1.1 mm in diameter; efferent pores rarely expressed, but if present, occurring in lateral position and somewhat recessed into coenosteum, each about 0.25 mm in diameter. Male ampullae (Fig. 13K) primarily internal, visible on coenosteal surface only as low mounds 0.3-0.5 mm in diameter, often with a small (30 µm diameter) apical efferent pore. Male ampullae often occur in high density clusters, directly adjacent to one another.
Distribution. Widespread throughout Aleutian Islands from west of Attu Island to Unalaska (including Petrel Bank), with one disjunct record near Sharma (near Anchorage); 75-351 m, but most records between 100-200 m. Stylaster brochi Stylaster stejnegeri Stylaster verrillii Stylaster repandus Stylaster venustus Stylaster californicus Stylaster campylecus Stylaster leptostylus Stylaster trachystomus Stylaster parageus parageus Stylaster parageus columbiensis Stylaster alaskanus Stylaster elassotomus