Cabrera et al. 2021

scientific article | European Journal of phycology

Diversity of Kallymeniaceae (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) associated with Hawaiian mesophotic reefs

Cabrera FP, Huisman JM, Spalding HL, Kosaki RK, Sherwood AR


Small red algal morphologically variable blades have been extensively collected from Hawaiian reefs, but for many specimens their taxonomy remains poorly understood. In surveys of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) and Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), we discovered two taxa of undescribed small (< 5 cm) red blades that matched the genera Psaromenia and Meredithia, based on morphology and molecular analyses. Neither genus has been previously recorded in the Hawaiian Islands, and neither group of specimens matched currently described species in these two genera. Accordingly, these specimens are described here as new species within the family Kallymeniaceae. Psaromenia laulamaula sp. nov., exclusively found at mesophotic depths (83–94 m) in PMNM, is easily distinguished from other members of the genus by its comparatively large, procarpic carpogonial branch system and solitary obovate pink-tomagenta blades. Conversely, Meredithia hawaiiensis sp. nov., occurring in both shallow (0–17 m) and mesophotic depths (55 m), has high morphological plasticity, with characters that overlap with other Meredithia species, and can only be distinguished based on DNA sequences. This study provides additional evidence of the extent of diversity in the Kallymeniaceae that is poorly characterized from mesophotic depths and provides further evidence that members of the macroalgal flora contain overlooked biodiversity.

Depth range
0- 94 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
26 x (total of 6091 words)

* Presents original data
* Reports new species
* Focused on 'mesophotic' depth range
* Focused on 'mesophotic coral ecosystem'

Community structure

Algae (Macro, Turf and Crustose Coralline)

USA - Hawaii


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