Phenganax subtilis, Lau, Yee Wah & Reimer, James D., 2019

Lau, Yee Wah & Reimer, James D., 2019, A first phylogenetic study on stoloniferous octocorals off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, with the description of two new genera and five new species, ZooKeys 872, pp. 127-158: 127

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Phenganax subtilis

sp. nov.

Phenganax subtilis  sp. nov. Figure 3cView Figure 3

Material examined.

All specimens are from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia and collected by YW Lau. Holotype: NSMT-Co 1684, Sepangar, west of Sepangar Island (06°03'38.66"N, 116°04'0.65"E), 7 m depth. Paratypes: IPMB-C 01.00011: Sepangar II, west of Sepangar Island (06°04'7.38"N, 116°04'6.76"E), 7 m depth. IPMB-C 01.00012: Manukan, north of Manukan Island, TARP (05°58'46.1"N, 116°00'10.6"E), 12 m depth. IPMB-C 01.00013: Manukan, north of Manukan Island, TARP (05°58'46.1"N, 116°00'10.6"E), 12 m depth.


The colony consists of ~50 polyps, which are connected through thin rounded stolons with a width of approximately 0.13-0.2 mm, growing over coral rubble. Polyps are partly clustered and spaced apart irregularly (1.0-3.0 mm). Polyps retract into calyces (0.65-0.77 mm width) that are barrel shaped. Expanded polyps are 3.0-3.5 mm in width and have tentacles with pinnules that are widely spaced and arranged in pairs of 12 on either side of the rachis. No sclerites were found in any of the specimens. Polyps are brown coloured in life and whitish yellow when preserved in ethanol. Zooxanthellate.

Morphological variation.

Paratypes show variation in the number of pinnules on either side of the rachis (10-13 pairs).


Sepangar Island, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Manukan Island, TARP, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.


Phenganax subtilis  sp. nov. differs from P. parrini  and P. marumi  sp. nov. mainly in the shape of the pinnules. Phenganax subtilis  does not have the plump, diamond-shaped pinnules as seen in P. marumi  and P. parrini  . Additionally, the colour of P. subtilis  is different from P. parrini  and P. marumi  ; brown instead of the more characteristic white-grey.


From Latin subtilis  , meaning simple, subtle, plain; denoting the subtleness of the polyps blending into the reef background. Gender: masculine.