ANTIPATHIDAE Ehrenberg, 1834, Ehrenberg, 1834

Opresko, D. M., 2005, A new species of antipatharian coral (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Antipatharia) from the southern California Bight, Zootaxa 852, pp. 1-10: 2

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.273210

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

ANTIPATHIDAE Ehrenberg, 1834


ANTIPATHIDAE Ehrenberg, 1834  

The order Antipatharia   has been the subject of an ongoing taxonomic revision (see Opresko 2001, 2002, 2003 a, 2004). Several new families and subfamilies have been established, and one of the characters that is providing valuable insight into the taxonomic relationships within the order is the morphology of the living polyps, i.e., the size and proportional dimensions along the transverse and sagittal axes, as well as the size and shape of the tentacles. Information on these parameters has only rarely been available for earlier described species. Many species and genera were established solely on the basis of skeletal characters, and even in cases where polyps were present, because of contraction of the soft tissue, their appearance may have been altered after preservation. With the increased use of submersibles and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for collecting and filming, it has become more and more common for black corals to be observed in situ and also collected alive, thus providing valuable opportunites to record the morphology of the living polyps. As more information on living species is documented, the natural affinities within the order will hopefully become clearer.

As a result of the above mentioned revisions, many species and even several genera previously included within the family Antipathidae   have now been re­assigned. Consequently, the family has, by default, undergone considerable modification and condensation. Further work is still needed to clearly define the limits of the family and to establish valid generic level taxa.