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Lophophaena hispida (Ehrenberg, 1872)

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Benson, 1966, p. 373-375; pl. 24, fig. 19:

Acanthocorys variabilis Popofsky sens. emend.

Acanthocorys variabilis Popofsky, 1913, Deutsche Sdpo1ar-Exped., vol. 14, pp. 360-364, text figs. 74, 75, 76, 77; not 71, 72, 73, 78, 79, 80, 81.

Cephalis subspherical with large, nearly equal, circular to suboircular pores, 3-5 on half the circumference; with relatively long, thin, conical spines originating from the nodes of the intervening bars. Cephalis separated from the thorax by a "necked" region but not by a distinct collar stricture. Thorax smooth to spiny, generally conical but subcylindrical in a few tests; with a change in contour below the collar region; in several specimens a slight, indistinct annular stricture distally, separating a lower portion (abdomen?) from the upper portion of the thorax. Pores of the thorax subcircular to subpolygonal, subequal, to unequal, about the same size or smaller than those of the cephalis. Several indistinct longitudinal ribs in the thoracic wall extend as thin conical spines from the incomplete terminal margin of the thorax. Mouth of thorax constricted in a few specimens. Four collar pores present; cardinal pores of type B. Apical bar an indistinct dorsal rib in the cephalic wall. Apical and vertical spines present but indistinct from the numerous cephalic spines. Dorsal and primary lateral spines extend as thoracic ribs which terminate in short, thin, conical spines generally above the indistinct annular stricture of the thorax.

Measurements; based on 8 specimens from stations 60, 106, and 192: length of cephalis 28-37 m, of thorax 58-86 m; breadth of cephalis 32-38 m, of thorax 55-92 m; length of apical spine 0-12 m, of vertical spine 6-9 m, of dorsal and primary lateral spines 2-10 m.

Remarks. This species is identical with only four of the eleven of Popofsky's (1913, text figs. 71-81) illustrations of Acanthocorys variabilis Popofsky, namely text figs. 74-77. Of his other illustrations, text figs. 78, 79, and 80 are similar to Lithomelissa thoracites Haeckel, and text fig. 81 is similar to Lithomelissa cf. galeata. The other illustrations could not be identified with any of the Gulf species. The definition of Acanthocorys variabilis is herein restricted to the above description of the Gulf species which includes tests with a subspherical, spiny cephalis having large, subequal, circular pores and a sub-cylindrical thorax.

Distribution. This species is rare but nearly cosmopolitan in the Gulf, occurring as far north as station 208. It is absent at stations 90, 91, 95, 99, 130, 184, 191, 194, 203, 206, and 214. Its frequency is too rare to make a judgment concerning its response to upwelling. Its general absence at marginal stations indicates its preference for offshore, more nearly oceanic waters.
The specimens illustrated by Popofsky (1913) that correspond to the Gulf species were reported from the western tropical part of the Indian Ocean and the tropical South Atlantic. This species, therefore, is widely distributed in tropical seas.
Benson 1966


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