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Mushroom corals (Scleractinia, Fungiidae) of Espiritu Santo (Vanuatu, West Pacific), with the description of a new species

Bert W. HOEKSEMA

en Zoosystema 34 (2) - Pages 429-443

Published on 29 June 2012

A total of 35 mushroom coral species (Scleractinia, Fungiidae) was recorded at the southeastern coast of Espiritu Santo, northern Vanuatu, during the SANTO 2006 expedition. One species, Sandalolitha boucheti n. sp., is described as new to science. It can be distinguished from its congeners by dense and thin septa, fine serrated septal dentations, evenly distributed stomata, and a light brown colour. The present species number is distinctly higher than previous records and suggests that northern Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo in particular, should be included in the so-called Coral Triangle, the Indo-West Pacific centre of maximum marine biodiversity, which would require an extension of this area in southeastward direction.

Keywords :

Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Hexacorallia, Scleractinia, Fungiidae, Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo, Coral Triangle, new species.

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