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Neofungella   Genus


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"Neofungella n. gen.

Zoarium simple, capitate, with a short peduncle; capitulum more or less widened, at times covering and concealing distal half of peduncle; autozoids and kenozoids about equally numerous, opening both on the peduncle and the capitulum; brood-chamber a spacious cavity covered under the surface of the capitulum.

The differences between the Ileteropora claviformis of WATERS (1904, pp.98 ff.) and the rest of the species of the genus Heteropora are sufficient, in my opinion, to make a generic separation of the said form desirable. So far as I can find there is, on the other hand, no other genus of recent Stenolaemes to which it can reasonably be referred.

As for the extinct genera, the species in question can be said, I think, to show some resemblance to two of them, viz. to Fungella and Multicreseis. The former genus was founded by VON HAGENOW (1851, p. 37) for three species from the Cretaceous of Maastricht. Two of these, viz. F. prolifera and F. plicata, seem to me, from the description and figures given (op. cit., Pl. III, figs 6 and 7), to be probably related to Fasciculipora but not to Heteropora. No kenozoids seem to exist in them, and the zoids open at the upper surface of the capitulum only. The third species (F. dujardini) deviates to a certain extent from them (cf. VON HAGENOW, op. cit., Pl. III, fig. 8). It has been selected by GREGORY (1909, p. 46) as the type of the genus Fungella. The capitulum in this species is rather strongly widened as can be seen in the figure given by VON HAGENOW and just cited; and the apertures t visible at the surface of the zoarium are, according to GREGORY (op. cit. 182) of two kinds, which suggests the possible existence of kenozoids. The zoids open, however, as far as is known at the capitulum only. It seems to me rather dubious if GREGORY (1. c.) was right in referring F. dujardini to the Heteroporidae, and yet more doubtful if the recent H. claviformis WATERS could be placed in the same genus as this species. In my opinion this is probably not the case.

The genus Multicrescis was created by D'ORBIGNY (1852, p. 1073) for a number of species from the Cretaceous, formerly referred to Heteropora, but which present a zoarium composed of several superimposed layers. The type-species, selected by GREGORY (1909, p. 204), is M. variabilis with which H. claviformis WATERS shows undoubtedly a certain resemblance as to the shape of its zoarium (cf. D'Orbigny, op. cit., Pl. 800, figs 3--6). There is no doubt, I think, that Multicrescis belongs to the Heteroporidae but as in my opinion the character considered by D'ORBIGNY and others as separating the species of this genus from those of Heteropora (s. str.), viz. the successive thin layers of zoids, depends wholly upon the stage of growth and the age attained by the zoarium (cf. below, pp. 276 ff.), I am unable to accept it as a generic character.

Under such circumstances, and as I think it of importance not to place a recent species within a genus founded for extinct forms, until complete accordance is demonstrated between the two, I find it best to propose a new genus for the species hitherto termed Heteropora claviformis WATERS." (Borg, 1933: 259-60)