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Volume 79, 1951
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An Index of the Rotifers in the C. B. Morris Collection
of Microscope Slides at the Cawthron Institute, Nelson

[Read before the Canterbury Branch, February 13, 1950; received by Editor, February 20, 1950.]

The changes made in recent years in the classification of the Rotatoria have increased the value of slides mounted by early workers, and without them it would sometimes be impossible to determine the species which have been described. Individual slides of rotifers may be found in many private and institutional collections throughout the Dominion, but the existence of a systematic collection was unknown to the author until Mr. A. W. Parrott, Curator of Insects at the Cawthron Institute, forwarded a box of sixty-three slides collected by the late Mr. C. B. Morris, of Oamaru, with a request that they be indexed and treated for leakage.

Mr. Morris published two papers: “Some Notes on Rotifers, not previously described in New Zealand,” 1912, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 45, pp. 163–7, and “A Classified List of the Rotatoria of New Zealand,” 1913, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 46, pp. 213–9. The 1913 list did not, however, include the collection of Murray (1911) published two years earlier. Apparently the new material included in the above papers was based on the collection now at the Cawthron Institute.

All the slides employed formalin-water media, and as a rule such slides have only a short life; it says much for the skill of the mounter that after nearly forty years thirty-seven of the slides are still in perfect condition. The procedure adopted after consultation with Mr. Parrott was to remove the faulty slides from which the media had evaporated. The remaining slides were then ringed with two coats of Murrayite and one of synthetic enamel. The identification of the animals was checked, and a new number given to each slide.

The names on the labels were in many cases those in use prior to the paper by Harring (1913) which are now invalid or synonyms, and these were not altered; the correct specific name is given in the Index against the slide number. In only one case was the identification of a specimen found to be incorrect. In two cases which are noted in the Index specimens were removed from leaking slides and mounted in glycerine jelly.

My thanks are due to Mr. Parrott and the Cawthron Institute for permission to examine and index this interesting collection, which will probably prove to be the only systematic assemblage of Rotatorian slides in the Dominion.


Slide Number Name
Genus Trichocerca
1,2 T. longiseta (Schrank)
3 T. rattus (Muller)
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Genus Epihanes
4, 5, 6, 7 E. senta (Muller)
8 E. brachionus (Ehrenberg)
Genus Rhinoglena
9, 10 R. frontalis Ehrenberg
Genus Enteroplea
11 E. lacustris Ehrenberg
Genus Trichotria
12 T. tetractis (Ehrenberg)
Genus Conochilus
13, 14, 15 C. hippocrepis (Schrank)
Genus Synchaeta
16, 17 S. tremula (Muller)
18 S. triophthalma Lauterboru
Genus Euchlanis
19, 20 E. dilitata, Ehrenberg

Note. With specimens of E. dilitata are some which may be E. lyra; the mounting was such that it was impossible positively to identify them.

Slide Number Name
Genus Cephalodella
21 C. gibba Ehrenberg
Genus Keratella
22, 23, 23A K. quadrata var. edmondsi Ahlstrom 1943
24 K. sancta Russell 1944

Note. Morris incorrectly identified specimens in this slide as Anuraea testudo = Keratella quadrata although the dorsal pattern and posterior spines are quite different from this species. The specimens are K. sancta, the distribution of which appears to be limited to the East Coast of the South Island, between Christchurch and Dunedin. The material in this slide was re-mounted in glycerine jelly.

Slide Number Name
Genus Notholca
25 N. striata (Muller)
Genus Brachionus
26, 27 B. novae zealandiae Morris 1912. (Paratypes.)

Note. Morris (1912), p. 167, described these specimens as B. variabilis Hempel var. novae zealandiae, but in his 1913 paper places them with B. bakeri as synonyms of B. capsuliflorus now an invalid species. Ahlstrom (1940), after an examination of B. variabilis var. novae zealandiae material, raised the specimens to specific rank as B. novae zealandiae Morris 1912. As Morris's identification was based on slides 26 and 27, these now become paratypes.

Slide Number Name
28, 28A B. calyciflorus Pallas

Note. Slide 28A, which was leaking, contained some very large and unusual reduced cyclomorphic forms. The material was therefore re-mounted in glycerine jelly.

Slide Number Name
29, 30 B. calyciflorus Pallas
31, 32 B. urceolaris Muller
33 B. rubens Ehrenberg
34 Males probably of B. calyciflorus
34A B. quadridentatus Hermann
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Genus Asplanchnopus
35 A. multiceps (Schrank)
Genus Asplanchna
36, 37 A. brightwelli Gosse

Note. There is no morphological difference between the females of A. brightwelli and A. intermedia and unless the males are examined it is impossible to distinguish between the two.

Literature Cited

Ahlstrom, E. H., 1940. A Revision of the Rotatorian Genus Brachionus. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., vol. lxxvii, art. 3, pp. 143–84.

Harring, H. K., 1913. Synopsis of the Rotatoria. Smithsonian Inst. Bull. 81.

Morris, C. B., 1912. Some Notes on Rotifers, not previously recorded as occurring in New Zealand. Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 45, pp. 163–7.

—— 1913. Classified List of the Rotatoria of New Zealand. Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 46, pp. 213–9.

Murray, J., 1911. Rotifera of New Zealand collected by the Shackleton Expedition. Jour. Roy. Micr. Soc., pp. 573–84.

Russell, C. R., 1944. A New Rotifer from New Zealand. Jour. Roy. Micr. Soc., vol. lxiv, pp. 121–3.