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Octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) from Reunion, with a description of two new species of the genus Sinularia May, 1898 and notes on the occurrence of other species

Yehuda BENAYAHU & Leen P. VAN OFWEGEN

en Zoosystema 34 (4) - Pages 673-699

Published on 28 December 2012

This article is based on a recent octocoral survey conducted on the reefs of Reunion Island and on re-examination of part of an older collection (early 1970s) from there. It provides a systematic list of the octocorals and evaluates their abundance. The study describes two new species of the genus Sinularia May, 1898. Sinularia shlagmani n. sp. is characterised by relatively small clubs with a central wart and a colony with densely placed crest-like lobes. It was compared to other species of its clade featuring polyps without sclerites and clubs with distinct central wart, and found to differ from all of them in the shape of the lobes. Sinularia tessieri n. sp. belongs to a clade with collaret, points and tentacle-rods, and clubs with an indistinct central wart, and features an encrusting growth form. It differs from the previously described species featuring similar growth form in having distinctly longer clubs on the surface of the lobules. Based on the description of Sarcophyton subviride Tixier-Durivault, 1958, a discussion is provided on this species. The survey yielded in total 34 species of the families Alcyoniidae Lamouroux, 1812, Subergorgiidae Gray, 1859 and Xeniidae Ehrenberg, 1828, among which 28 are new zoogeographical records for Reunion.

Keywords :

Octocorallia, Alcyonacea, Sarcophyton, Sinularia, Reunion, Indian Ocean, coral reefs, taxonomy, new species.

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