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Benayahu et al. 2017


scientific article | Zootaxa

Search for mesophotic octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) and their phylogeny: I. A new sclerite-free genus from Eilat, northern Red Sea

Benayahu Y, McFadden CS, Shoham E

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Abstract

This communication describes a new octocoral, Altumia delicata gen. n. & sp. n. (Octocorallia: Clavulariidae), from mesophotic reefs of Eilat (northern Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea). This species lives on dead antipatharian colonies and on artificial substrates. It has been recorded from deeper than 60 m down to 140 m and is thus considered to be a lower mesophotic octocoral. It has no sclerites and features no symbiotic zooxanthellae. The new genus is compared to other known sclerite-free octocorals. Molecular phylogenetic analyses place it in a clade with members of families Clavulariidae and Acanthoaxiidae, and for now we assign it to the former, based on colony morphology. The polyphyletic family Clavulariidae is, however, in need of a thorough revision once the morphological distinctions among its phylogenetically distinct clades are better understood.

Zk article 12727
Keywords
Meta-data (pending validation)
Depth range
69- 140 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
16 x (total of 2243 words)

Fields
Taxonomy

Focusgroups
Octocorallia (Soft Corals)

Locations
Israel - Red Sea

Platforms
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)


Reports new species
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