In this study, three new species of macrocnemic zoantharians (Hexacorallia, Zoantharia) are described from localities in the Indo-Pacific Ocean including the Red Sea, the Maldives, Palau, and southern Japan: Antipathozoanthus obscurus sp. n., A. remengesaui sp. n., and A. cavernus sp. n. Although the genus Antipathozoanthus is currently restricted to species living on antipatharians, A. obscurus sp. n. is not associated with any living substrate and instead is found on coral reef carbonate substrate within narrow caves or cracks. The two new species that have association with antipatharians, A. remengesaui sp. n. and A. cavernus sp. n., can be distinguished by their relative coenenchyme development and the antipatharian species that each uses as substrate. Additionally, all new species described in this study have unique nuclear internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (ITS-rDNA) sequences. Our results indicate that more phylogenetic studies focusing on increasing the numbers of species examined within each of the genera of Parazoanthidae are required in order to better understand the evolutionary history of substrate specificity within the family Parazoanthidae.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics