Aphanostichopathes, Opresko & Bo & Stein & Evankow & Distel & Brugler, 2021

Opresko, Dennis M., Bo, Marzia, Stein, David P., Evankow, Ann, Distel, Daniel L. & Brugler, Mercer R., 2021, Description of two new genera and two new species of antipatharian corals in the family Aphanipathidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Antipatharia), Zootaxa 4966 (2), pp. 161-174: 167-169

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4966.2.4

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:E4C6A17A-D590-4C0C-A66D-4C30ECAFF9AA

DOI

http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4783899

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/039887DD-EB7C-8F7B-41BE-D38B272CF9E7

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Aphanostichopathes
status

gen. nov.

Genus Aphanostichopathes   gen. nov. Bo & Opresko

Cirripathes, Brook 1889   (in part)

Stichopathes, Opresko & Genin 1990   ; Bo et al. 2009 (in part); Bo et al. 2012 (in part); Brugler et al. 2013 (in part); MacIsaac et al. 2013 (in part); Chery et al. 2018 (in part)

Diagnosis. Colonies unbranched. Stem straight or curved and often forming wide distal coils. Spines usually conical, acute or blunt, with conical tubercles on their surface most often confined to near the apex. Polyps up to 3.4 mm in transverse diameter, and arranged in a single series.

Type species. Cirripathes paucispina Brook, 1889   (= Cirrhipathes paucispina Brook   ).

Remarks. In outward appearance Aphanostichopathes   very closely resembles the genus Stichopathes   in the family Antipathidae   . The distinct tuberculate nature of the skeletal spines, the apparent aphanipathid like appearance of the polyps, and the molecular data as discussed below, confirm its relationship to the Aphanipathidae   .

Species in genus. Stichopathes euoplos Schultze, 1903   ; Stichopathes dissimilis Roule, 1902   , 1905; and Stichopathes spiessi Opresko and Genin, 1990   . One other species that might belong to the new genus is Stichopathes flagellum Roule, 1902   , 1905; however, the type specimen needs to be re-examined for the presence of tubercles on the spines.

Phylogenetic data. The type specimen of Aphanostichopathes paucispina (Brook)   has not been evaluated in DNA sequencing studies. However, two specimens identified as Stichopathes spiessi Opresko & Genin   , a species which is morphologically very similar, and may be identical to A. paucispina   , were analyzed by Chery et al. (2018) using the mitochondrial gene regions nad5- IGR- nad1 and cox3-cox1. The resulting phylogenetic tree of the families Antipathidae   and Aphanipathidae   based on cox3-cox1 is shown in Figure 5 View FIGURE 5 .

The genera Aphanipathes   , Phanopathes   , Anozopathes   and Acanthopathes   shown in Figure 5 View FIGURE 5 are all currently placed in the family Aphanipathidae   . Aphanostichopathes   clearly falls within the same clade and all typically have spines with conical tubercles. In contrast, species of Stichopathes   that remain within the Antipathidae   have spines that are smooth or have small round or oblong papillae, rather than conical tubercles. The specimen of Stichopathes cf. occidentalis   in the Antipathidae   clade in the Figure 5 View FIGURE 5 (SED8045) was not available for examination; however, assuming it has spines that are similar to S. occidentalis Gray   , then the spines should have numerous small roundish papillae typical of some species of Stichopathes   in the family Antipathidae   . Note: the species identified as Stichopathes cf. flagellum   in Figure 5 View FIGURE 5 has faint morphological features indicating that it might also belong in the family Aphanipathidae   ; however, the fact that it groups separate from the two species of Aphanostichopathes   requires further study.

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Cnidaria

Class

Anthozoa

Order

Antipatharia

Family

Aphanipathidae

Loc

Aphanostichopathes

Opresko, Dennis M., Bo, Marzia, Stein, David P., Evankow, Ann, Distel, Daniel L. & Brugler, Mercer R. 2021
2021
Loc

Stichopathes

, Opresko & Genin 1990
1990
Loc

Cirripathes

, Brook 1889
1889