Thursday, March 10, 2016

A new hyroid: Zygophylax kakaiba

Hydroids are a life stage for most animals of the class Hydrozoa, small predators related to jellyfish. The most famous representative is the freshwater genus Hydra. Most members of the class are colonial which means a founder polyp is anchored to the substrate and forms a bud which remains attached to its parent. This in turn buds and in this way a stem is formed. The arrangement of polyps and the branching of the stem is often characteristic of the species.

The same is true for today's new species. In Tagalog, a native language of The Philippines, the word kakaiba means “weird”, used here as a reference to some unique features of the branching.

For the experts: The genus Zygophylax Quelch, 1885 includes ca. 50 valid species of leptothecate hydroids that occur mainly in deep waters. Herein we describe Zygophylax kakaiba, sp. nov., collected in the Philippines at a depth of 580 m during the Siboga Expedition. Compared to its congeners, this species is distinguished by the abrupt curvature of the distal third of its hydrothecae towards the adcauline side.

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