SINCE our last notice of these Reports, three more volumes of the zoological series have made their appearance. In vol. ii. published in 1881, and prepared under the superintendence of the late Sir C. Wyville Thomson, the first Report is by Prof. Moseley: On Certain Hydroid, Alcyonarian and Madreporian Corals procured during the Voyage. The great interest and importance of Mr. Moseley's investigations into the structure of the Hydrocorallinæ, and on the Helioporidæ and their allies, justified a previous publication, chiefly in the Philosophical Transactions, of the chief results of the author's work. The third part, describing the Deep Sea Madreporaria appears now for the first time. It ought to be noted that the memoirs forming the first two parts have been recast, and contain both additions and alterations. Mr. Moseley's history of Millepora nodosa will be acknowledged by all capable of judging, as a most solid contribution to our knowledge of the Hydrocorallinæ. So long ago as 1859, Agassiz announced that the structure of the polyps of Millepora showed that they belonged not to the corals, but to the Hydroids; but although this view was confirmed by others, especially by Pourtales, who once got an imperfect view of the expanded dactylozooids, still it remained for Prof. Moseley to settle this question of affinity beyond a doubt, which he has done by his painstaking dissections. He acknowledges his indeotedness to his colleague, Mr. Murray, who saw the zooids of Millepora nodosa in a living and expanded state upon the reefs of Tahiti. This species forms tubercular and irregular masses, often encrusting and over-growing the dead fronds of Lobhoseris cactus, which is a principal component of the Tahitian reefs. While fresh, the growing tips of the lobes have a bright gamboge yellow colour, fading off into a yellowish brown; the expanded zooids have the appearance of a close-set pearly white down upon the surface of the mass. Sometimes the encrusting film is very thin. When, as at Bermuda, M. alcicornis is found attached to glass bottles thrown into the harbour, this film will not be more than from th to th of a millimetre in thickness, and no doubt, now that attention is called to such specimens, they will be studied with the object of telling us more of the life history of these forms.
Reports on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. “Challenger” during the years 1873-1876, under the Command of Capt Sir George Nares, R.N., F.R.S., and Capt F.T. Thomson, R.N.
Prepared under the Superintendence of Sir C. Wyville Thomson, F.R.S., and John Murray. Zoology—Vols. II., III., and IV. (Published by Order of Her Majesty's Government, 1881-1882.)
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Reports on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. “Challenger” during the years 1873-1876, under the Command of Capt Sir George Nares, R.N., F.R.S., and Capt F.T. Thomson, R.N.. Nature 27, 73–75 (1882). https://doi.org/10.1038/027073a0