Horowitz et al. 2020

scientific article | Zootaxa

Morphological and molecular description of a new genus and species of black coral (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Antipatharia: Antipathidae: Blastopathes) from Papua New Guinea

Horowitz J, Brugler MR, Bridge TCL, Cowman PF


Blastopathes medusa gen. nov., sp. nov., is described from Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, based on morphological and molecular data. Blastopathes, assigned to the Antipathidae, is a large, mythology-inspiring black coral characterized by clusters of elongate stem-like branches that extend out at their base and then curve upward. Colonies are not pinnulate and contain single branches, which could represent new branch cluster formations. Morphological and molecular (mitochondrial DNA and targeted capture of nuclear loci) evidence supporting the establishment of a new genus is discussed. This is the first study to utilize the target capture of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) and exonic loci to elucidate phylogenetic relationships among black corals and to identify and place a new genus and species.

Behind the science
Research sites
Depth range
30- 37 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
0 x (total of 5276 words)

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


Antipatharia (Black Corals)

Papua New Guinea

SCUBA (open-circuit or unspecified)

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