Glossary
Terminology Description
Terminology Description
Anthocodia (p. Anthocodiae) Distal part of a polyp including the mouth, neck and tentacles, which may or may not be retractable into coenenchyme.
Anthostele The lower part of the polyp consisting of the gastrodermal canal where it penetrates the coenenchyme; typically not visible on the surface of the colony.
Arborescent Tree like branching pattern, generally comprising a bare stalk and polyps arranged on the distal branches and twigs (e.g. Pseudodrifa nigra).
Armature The arrangement of the sclerites on the head of a polyp.
Autozooid A polyp containing eight tentacles and mesenteries; in dimorphic colonies, they are larger than siphonozooids.
Axis Inner supporting structure of some octocoral colonies; may or may not contain sclerites; may be horny and/or calcareous, hollow or solid.
Boundary canals In Scleraxonia, canals that run longitudinally throughout colony, separating medulla from cortex.
Calyx (p. Calyces, adj. Calicular) Stiff, projecting portion of the coenenchyme, typically reinforced by modified sclerites, into which the anthocodia may retract.
Capitate Unbranched colonies with a disk like, spherical or hemispherical terminus on a narrow stalk, commonly resembling a club or torch (e.g.Nidalia occidentalis).
Capstan An elongate sclerite with two girdles of warts or tubercles at each end (e.g.Leptogorgia hebes); often named by number of tubercles (e.g. Triradiate capstan).
Coenenchyme (adj. Coenenchymal) The common colony tissue between the polyps, consisting of mesoglea penetrated by solenia and gastrodermal canals and containing sclerites.
Collaret A ring of transversely arranged, bowed anthocodial sclerites located below the bases of the tentacles; typically associated with points, forming a ‘collaret and points’ arrangement.
Contractile Ability of an anthocodia to reduce in size without inversion into the upper part of the anthostele within the coenenchyme, often accomplished by folding the tentacles inward.
Cortex (adj. Cortical) In Scleraxonia, the layer of coenenchyme surrounding the medulla.
Dichotomous Branching pattern displaying a repeating bifurcation (e.g. Iciligorgia schrammi).
Digitiform Unbranched, finger like colony form (e.g. Bellonella rubistella)
Dimorphic Having two types of polyps, autozooids and siphonozooids (e.g. Pennatulacea).
Disk Spindle
spindle Shaped sclerite that displays the fusion of warts into girdles on one or both sides (e.g.Leptogorgia setacea).
Double cone A spindle like sclerite with a medial constriction and acute ends (e.g.Viminella barbadensis).
Double head A sclerite with a medial constriction and blunt ends (e.g. Viminella barbadensis).
Fistulose A state in which the end of a flattened branch is rolled inward, partially fusing and forming a terminal groove (e.g. Iciligorgia schrammi).
Foliated club Elongate sclerite with an enlarged end adorned with leaf like or spinous processes (e.g.Pseudodrifa nigra).
Foliose Resembling a leaf; dorsoventrally compressed and broad (e.g. Renilla reniformis).
Lobed Colonies with a few short, stout branches, often with clusters of polyps at tips (e.g.Pseudodrifa nigra)
Loculation (n. loculus, n. p. loculi ) The presence of spaces between layers of gorgonin in a holaxonian axis, which may be filled with calcified material, often very prominent in Plexauridae (loculi refers the pockets or empty spaces between the layers).
Medulla Inner supporting structure of a scleraxonian colony, comprised of sclerites often bound together with various amounts of horny gorgonin.
Monomorphic Having one type of polyp, autozooids.
Monopodial Branching in which a primary polyp gives rise to lateral daughter or budded polyps (e.g.Telesto sp., Carijoa riisei).
Oozooid Enlarged and modified polyp of the pennatulacean colony bearing autozooids and siphonozooids.
Peduncle Often called a stalk, the lower, bare portion of a pennatulacean colony that anchors in soft substrate.
Pinnate Branching in one plane that appears feather like (e.g.Muricea pendula).
Planar Branching colonies that grow in one plane; fan like.
Plate A broad, flat, irregularly shaped sclerite (e.g. Scleranthelia rugosa).
Platelet A small flattened sclerite of diverse outline (e.g. Sclerobelemnon theseus).
Points Sets of anthocodial sclerites, often bent spindles, forming eight longitudinal groups at the base of each tentacle; located above the collaret (if present), forming a ‘collaret and points’ arrangement.
Polyp leaves Flattened expansions bearing secondary polyps in some pennatulaceans, such as Virgulariidae.
Polyp mounds Raised regions of the coenenchyme into which polyps retract; not reinforced by modified or specialized sclerites.
Primary polyp Polyp (in Clavulariidae) giving rise to lateral or daughter polyps; often the polyp farthest from substrate.
Rachis Fleshy part of a tentacle from which pinnules arise; in Pennatulacea, the part of the oozooid that produces the other polyps.
Retractile Ability of an anthocodia to fully withdraw into the upper part of the anthostele within the coenenchyme.
Sclerite Microscopic, calcareous structures found in the coenenchyme, anthocodiae, and sometimes in the axes of octocorals.
Siphonozooid In dimorphic colonies, a polyp with reduced tentacles and mesenteries; smaller and less conspicuous than autozooids.
Spindle Common sclerite shape displaying an elongate form and tapering ends (e.g. Gorgoniidae).
Stellate plate Flat sclerite with peripheral lobes, appearing star like, sometimes with a protruding knob in the centre (e.g.Bebryce parastellata).
Stolon An extension of the coenenchyme that traverses the substrate and connects polyps or colonies, often broad and ribbon like.