Antipathidae Ehrenberg, 1834

Wagner, Daniel & Shuler, Andrew, 2017, The black coral fauna (Cnidaria: Antipatharia) of Bermuda with new records, Zootaxa 4344 (2), pp. 367-379: 368

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Antipathidae Ehrenberg, 1834


Family Antipathidae Ehrenberg, 1834  

The family Antipathidae   is characterized by polyps that (1) range from about 0.5 mm to more than 1 mm in transverse diameter, (2) are not elongated in the transverse plane, (3) possess six primary and four secondary mesenteries, and (4) have sagittal tentacles that are substantially longer than the lateral tentacles when fully expanded ( Bo, 2008; Opresko, 2005; Opresko & Sanchez, 2005). However, the latter feature is frequently not apparent in preserved specimens. Historically, the Antipathidae   has been considered a taxonomic dumping ground, and is the oldest and most species-rich antipatharian family ( Bo, 2008; France et al., 2007). As a result, colony and skeletal spine morphology is very heterogeneous within this family. While several taxa that formerly belonged to the Antipathidae   have recently been transferred to new families ( Opresko, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001), the family is still considered polyphyletic and in need of further taxonomic revisions ( Brugler et al., 2013; France et al., 2007). Two genera ( Antipathes   and Stichopathes   ) have previously been reported from the waters off Bermuda ( Locke et al., 2013), both which were recorded as part of this study ( Table 1).