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Cladococcus abietinus

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Cladococcus stalactites renamed Cladococcus abietinus
Richard N. Benson (30/10/2003)
The only apparent differences noted by Haeckel (1887, p. 226-227) between Cladococcus abietinus and C. stalactites is the smooth (vs. dentated) edges of the blades of the radial spines of the latter. Dentated edges predominate among tests from the Gulf of California, but some tests have smooth edges; therefore, Cladococcus abietinus is the preferred name for the species, and it has page priority over C. stalactites.

Suggested emendation of the genus Cladococcus
Richard N. Benson (30/10/2003)
The presence of the inner shell is not constant within the specimens of this species from the Gulf of California, either because of dissolution or lack of development during ontogeny; therefore, several if not most specimens conform to the genus Cladococcus Müller. In tests with the inner shell present, the radial spines continue inward as thin cylindrical beams joining with the surface of the inner shell. Whether the inner shell is present or absent, all tests conform to Haeckel’s illustrations of Cladococcus abietinus and C. stalactites (Haeckel, 1887, pl. 27, figs. 2 and 3, respectively). Tests with the inner shell present technically conform to the genus Elatomma Haeckel (1887, p. 242) defined as having two shells with branched radial spines. I suggest emending the definition of Cladococcus to include tests with one or two (or more?) shells but the defining character being the long and robust branched radial spines as in the species of this genus.



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