Pachyseris inattesa sp. n. (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Scleractinia): a new reef coral species from the Red Sea and its phylogenetic relationships.
ABSTRACT: A new scleractinian coral species, Pachyseris inattesa sp. n., is described from the Red Sea. Despite a superficial resemblance with some species in the agariciid genus Leptoseris with which it has been previously confused, P. inattesa sp. n. has micro-morphological characters typical of the genus Pachyseris. This genus, once part of the Agariciidae, is comprised of five extant species and is widely distributed throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. It is currently incertae sedis as a result of recent molecular analysis and appears to be closely related to the Euphylliidae. A molecular phylogenetic reconstruction including P. inattesa sp. n., the genus type species P. rugosa, and P. speciosa, all present in the Red Sea, was performed using the mitochondrial intergenic spacer between COI and 16S-rRNA. The results confirm that P. inattesa sp. n. is a monophyletic lineage closely related to the other Pachyseris species examined.
Project description:The coral species Leptoseris troglodytasp. n. (Scleractinia, Agariciidae) is described as new to science. It is the first known azooxanthellate shallow-water agariciid and is recorded from the ceilings of caves at 5-35 m depth in West Pacific coral reefs. The corals have monocentric cup-shaped calices. They may become colonial through extramural budding from the basal coenosteum, which may cause adjacent calices to fuse. The size, shape and habitat of Leptoseris troglodyta are unique compared to other Leptoseris species, many of which have been recorded from mesophotic depths. The absence of zooxanthellae indicates that it may survive well in darkness, but endolithic algae in some corals indicate that they may be able to get some light. The presence of menianes on the septal sides, which may help to absorb light at greater depths in zooxanthellate corals, have no obvious adaptive relevance in the new species and could have been inherited from ancestral species that perhaps were zooxanthellate. The new species may be azooxanthellate as derived through the loss of zooxanthellae, which would be a reversal in Leptoseris phylogeny.
Project description:A new scleractinian coral species, Cyphastreakausti sp. n., is described from 13 specimens from the Red Sea. It is characterised by the presence of eight primary septa, unlike the other species of the genus, which have six, ten or 12 primary septa. The new species has morphological affinities with Cyphastreamicrophthalma, from which it can be distinguished by the lower number of septa (on average eight instead of ten), and smaller calices and corallites. This species was observed in the northern and central Red Sea and appears to be absent from the southern Red Sea.
Project description:Widespread polyphyly in stony corals (order Scleractinia) has prompted efforts to revise their systematics through approaches that integrate molecular and micromorphological evidence. To date, these approaches have not been comprehensively applied to the dominant genera in mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) because several species in these genera occur primarily at depths that are poorly explored and from which sample collections are limited. This study is the first integrated morphological and molecular systematic analysis of the genera Leptoseris and Pavona to examine material both from shallow-water reefs (<30 m) and from mid- to lower-MCEs (>60 m). Skeletal and tissue samples were collected throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago between 2-127 m. A novel mitochondrial marker (cox1-1-rRNA intron) was sequenced for 70 colonies, and the micromorphologies of 94 skeletons, plus selected type material, were analyzed. The cox1-1-rRNA intron resolved 8 clades, yet Leptoseris and Pavona were polyphyletic. Skeletal micromorphology, especially costal ornamentation, showed strong correspondence and discrete differences between mitochondrial groups. One putative new Leptoseris species was identified and the global depth range of the genus Pavona was extended to 89 m, suggesting that the diversity of mesophotic scleractinians has been underestimated. Examination of species' depth distributions revealed a pattern of depth zonation: Species common in shallow-water were absent or rare >40 m, whereas others occurred only >60 m. These patterns emphasize the importance of integrated systematic analyses and more comprehensive sampling by depth in assessing the connectivity and diversity of MCEs.
Project description:Spaniomolgus is a symbiotic genus of copepods of the poecilostomatoid family Rhynchomolgidae and is known to be associated with shallow-water reef-building hermatypic corals. Three species of this genus were previously found only in washings of Acropora and Stylophora in northern Madagascar. Four coral morphotypes of Stylophorapistillata (Pocilloporidae) were collected by SCUBA at 1 to 28 m depth in five sites in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea in 2013. Copepods found on these colonies were studied using light, confocal and scanning electron microscopy. Five new, and one known, species of the genus Spaniomolgus were discovered in washings and inside the galls of the hermatypic coral S.pistillata. The description of these new species (Spaniomolgusglobus sp. n., S.stylophorus sp. n., S.dentatus sp. n., S.maculatus sp. n., and S.acutus sp. n.) and a key for the identification of all of its congeners is provided herein.
Project description:Scolanthus is one genus of Edwardsiidae, a speciose family of burrowing worm-like sea anemones characterized by lacking a physa-like aboral end and by possessing nemathybomes on the whole body except at the distal end. This genus has been recorded worldwide, but there have been no specimens collected from Japan. In this study, we discovered four Scolanthus species in Japan for the first time: Scolanthusarmatus (Carlgren, 1931) and Scolanthuskopepe sp. n. from the Ogasawara Islands, Scolanthusena sp. n. from Ena Bay, Kanagawa, and Scolanthusisei sp. n. from Sugashima Island, Mie.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Classical morphological taxonomy places the approximately 1400 recognized species of Scleractinia (hard corals) into 27 families, but many aspects of coral evolution remain unclear despite the application of molecular phylogenetic methods. In part, this may be a consequence of such studies focusing on the reef-building (shallow water and zooxanthellate) Scleractinia, and largely ignoring the large number of deep-sea species. To better understand broad patterns of coral evolution, we generated molecular data for a broad and representative range of deep sea scleractinians collected off New Caledonia and Australia during the last decade, and conducted the most comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis to date of the order Scleractinia. METHODOLOGY:Partial (595 bp) sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) gene were determined for 65 deep-sea (azooxanthellate) scleractinians and 11 shallow-water species. These new data were aligned with 158 published sequences, generating a 234 taxon dataset representing 25 of the 27 currently recognized scleractinian families. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS/CONCLUSIONS:There was a striking discrepancy between the taxonomic validity of coral families consisting predominantly of deep-sea or shallow-water species. Most families composed predominantly of deep-sea azooxanthellate species were monophyletic in both maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses but, by contrast (and consistent with previous studies), most families composed predominantly of shallow-water zooxanthellate taxa were polyphyletic, although Acroporidae, Poritidae, Pocilloporidae, and Fungiidae were exceptions to this general pattern. One factor contributing to this inconsistency may be the greater environmental stability of deep-sea environments, effectively removing taxonomic "noise" contributed by phenotypic plasticity. Our phylogenetic analyses imply that the most basal extant scleractinians are azooxanthellate solitary corals from deep-water, their divergence predating that of the robust and complex corals. Deep-sea corals are likely to be critical to understanding anthozoan evolution and the origins of the Scleractinia.
Project description:Atlantia is described as a new genus pertaining to the family Dendrophylliidae (Anthozoa, Scleractinia) based on specimens from Cape Verde, eastern Atlantic. This taxon was first recognized as Enallopsammia micranthus and later described as a new species, Tubastraea caboverdiana, which then changed the status of the genus Tubastraea as native to the Atlantic Ocean. Here, based on morphological and molecular analyses, we compare fresh material of T. caboverdiana to other dendrophylliid genera and describe it as a new genus named Atlantia in order to better accommodate this species. Evolutionary reconstruction based on two mitochondrial and one nuclear marker for 67 dendrophylliids and one poritid species recovered A. caboverdiana as an isolated clade not related to Tubastraea and more closely related to Dendrophyllia cornigera and Leptopsammia pruvoti. Atlantia differs from Tubastraea by having a phaceloid to dendroid growth form with new corallites budding at an acute angle from the theca of a parent corallite. The genus also has normally arranged septa (not Portualès Plan), poorly developed columella, and a shallow-water distribution all supporting the classification as a new genus. Our results corroborate the monophyly of the genus Tubastraea and reiterate the Atlantic non-indigenous status for the genus. In the light of the results presented herein, we recommend an extensive review of shallow-water dendrophylliids from the Eastern Atlantic.
Project description:The Neotropical genus SchacontiaDyar (1914) is reviewed and revised to include eleven species. Schacontia replica Dyar, 1914, syn. n. and Schacontia pfeifferi Amsel, 1956, syn. n. are synonymized with Schacontia chanesalis (Druce, 1899) and eight new species are described: Schacontia umbra,sp. n., Schacontia speciosa,sp. n., Schacontia themis, sp. n., Schacontia rasa, sp. n., Schacontia nyx,sp. n., Schacontia clotho, sp. n., Schacontia lachesis, sp. n., and Schacontia atropos, sp. n. Three species, Schacontia medalba, Schacontia chanesalis, and Schacontia ysticalis, are re-described. An analysis of 64 characters (56 binary, 8 multistate; 5 head, 13 thoracic, 13 abdominal, 25 male genitalic, and 8 female genitalic) scored for all Schacontia and three outgroup species (Eustixia pupula Hübner, 1823, Glaphyria sesquistrialis Hübner, 1823, and Hellula undalis (Fabricius, 1781)) retrieved 8 equally most parsimonious trees (L=102, CI=71, RI=84) of which the strict consensus is: [[[[medalba + umbra] + chanesalis] + speciosa] + [ysticalis + [rasa + themis + [atropos + lachesis + nyx + clotho]]]]. The relevance of male secondary sexual characters to the diagnosis of Schacontia species is discussed.
Project description:The family Xeniidae (Octocorallia) constitutes an abundant benthic component on many Indo-West Pacific coral reefs and is ecologically important in the Red Sea. The genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001 was recently established to accommodate previous Xenia species with sclerites comprised of a mass of minute corpuscle-shaped microscleres. The aim of the present study was to examine type material of Xenia species in order to verify their generic affiliation. We present here a comprehensive account of the genus Ovabunda, using scanning electron microscopy to depict sclerite microstructure. We assign three Xenia species to the genus: O. ainex comb. n., O. gohari comb. n., and O. crenata comb. n.; and synonymize several other species of Ovabunda. We provide a key to Ovabunda species and conclude that they are mainly confined to the Red Sea, with some occurrence in the West Indian Ocean.
Project description:A new species, Melithaea davidisp. n., is described from the eastern coast of Oman, Oman Sea, in the northwestern Indian Ocean, where it differs from its congeners in lacking capstans and having predominantly spindles in the coenenchyme. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of mtMutS and 28S rDNA genes suggests that it is genetically distinct from similar species in the Red Sea. Furthermore, a species previously reported as Acabaria sp. from the Arabian Sea is now identified as Melithaea mabahissi (Hickson, 1940).