A revision of the genus Muricea Lamouroux, 1821 (Anthozoa, Octocorallia) in the eastern Pacific. Part I: Eumuricea Verrill, 1869 revisited
Breedy Shadid, Odalisca
Guzmán, Héctor M.
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Muricea is an amphi-American genus. Verrill proposed dividing the species from the Pacific Ocean into three genera and established the genus Eumuricea for five eastern Pacific species with tubular calyces. Eumuricea is basically characterized by colonies with elongate, cylindrical calyces with truncate margins and star-like opercula, and the occurrence of unilateral spinous spindles. According to these characteristics, Eumuricea does not show enough difference from Muricea to be treated as a separate genus. Original type material of Eumuricea was morphologically analysed and illustrated using optical and scanning electron microscopy. We conclude that the eastern Pacific species should be placed in the genus Muricea and form a group characterised by tubular calyces that comprises four species at present, M. acervata, M. hispida, M. squarrosa, and M. tubigera and a dubious species M. horrida. Lectotypes were designated for M. squarrosa and M. hispida to establish their taxonomic status. The genus Eumuricea has also been misunderstood by former authors who erroneously assigned species to it. For these species we propose new combinations: Swiftia pusilla, Astrogorgia splendens and A. ramosa.