Myriopathidae Opresko, 2001,

Terrana, Lucas, Bo, Marzia, Opresko, Dennis M. & Eeckhaut, Igor, 2020, Shallow-water black corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Antipatharia) from SW Madagascar, Zootaxa 4826 (1), pp. 1-62: 42

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Myriopathidae Opresko, 2001


Family Myriopathidae Opresko, 2001 

This family was established to differentiate from the Antipathidae  a sub-group of branched black corals which showed peculiar morphological features and subsequently proved to cluster separately from the Antipathidae  in phylogenetic studies (Opresko 2001, Lapian et al. 2007, Brugler et al. 2013). The group is characterized by polyps having ten mesenteries and measuring 0.5 to 1 mm in transverse diameter. They have short tentacles with a rounded tip, and acute, conical to blade-like spines up to 0.3 mm tall on the smallest branchlets or pinnules, and cylindrical, simple, forked or antler-like spines on the larger branches and stem (Opresko 2001). In this family, colony morphology and pinnulation pattern represent the most important identification criteria to distinguish the different genera. There are currently five genera within the family: Antipathella  , Cupressopathes  , Myriopathes  , Plumapathes  and Tanacetipathes  . They typically occur between 10 and 200 meters and are usually found in shallow waters in association with species from the family Antipathidae  .