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Four new species of zoanthids identified

By Leonard Ho - Posted Oct 08, 2012 08:00 AM
We may have four additional vectors for palytoxin. Scientists from the University of the Ryukyus - with the help of Coral Morphologic - have identified four probable new zoanthid species in Florida via DNA analysis.
Four new species of zoanthids identified

Clockwise from Top Left: 1) Undescribed Zoanthus aff. pulchellus 2) Undescribed Palythoa aff. variabilis 3) Zoanthus solanderi 4) Undescribed Terrazoanthus sp.

Via  Shallow Floridan reef zoanthids of the genus Palythoa, Zoanthus, Isaurus, and Terrazoanthus were collected for phylogenetic study.  DNA analysis identified at least eleven species, four of which appear undescribed including the first confirmation of Terrazoanthus sp. in the Caribbean.

The finding is published in the Hindawi Journal of Marine Biology.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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