New Perspectives on the Hexactinellid Genus Dactylocalyx Stutchbury

  • H. M. Reiswig


In spite of its important position in the early taxonomic history of the Hexactinellida, Dactylocalyx remains a poorly known genus. As Schulze (1887) pointed out, D. pumiceus was most likely the first hexactinellid referred to in 1780; when described by Stutchbury in 1841, it was the first dictyonine and the fourth recognized species of the group that eventually formed the class Hexactinellida. It served repeatedly as the basis for the Dactylocalycidae in the taxonomic schemes of Gray (1867) and Ijima (1903), although the type specimen was never depicted and its characters barely appreciated. Dactylocalyx pumiceus remains important as the largest and most common hexactinellid throughout the western tropical Atlantic. Interest in the genus was renewed with Reid’s (1957, 1962) resurrection of the Dactylocalycidae and the surprising transfer of the group to the Lychniscosa. I provide here a short review of the history of the genus, and present result of skeletal and soft-tissue investigations on recently collected specimens.


Type Specimen Chamber Wall British Museum Philos Trans Fibrous Network 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

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  • H. M. Reiswig

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