Ovabunda verseveldti (Benayahu, 1990)

Halasz, Anna, McFadden, Catherine S., Aharonovich, Dafna, Toonen, Robert & Benayahu, Yehuda, 2014, A revision of the octocoral genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001 (Anthozoa, Octocorallia, Xeniidae), ZooKeys 373, pp. 1-41: 32

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scientific name

Ovabunda verseveldti (Benayahu, 1990)


Ovabunda verseveldti (Benayahu, 1990)   Fig. 20 View Figure 20

Xenia verseveldti   Benayahu, 1990: 115-116, fig. 2, table 1; Reinicke 1997: 29-30, plate 16.

Ovabunda verseveldti   ; Alderslade 2001: 49.


Holotype: ZMTAU Co 26048 and four paratypes: ZMTAU Co 31625 northern Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Dahab (28°30'34.21"N, 34°31'18.26"E), 1 m, 9 November 1979, coll. Y. Benayahu.


The holotype is 18 mm high; its stalk is 9 mm long, 5 mm wide at its base and 13 mm wide at its uppermost part. Polyp’s body is 1-4 mm long, and the tentacles 6 mm long, bearing 1.8 mm long and 0.2 mm wide pinnules separated from each other by a small gap, less than one pinnule width. A single row of 14-18 pinnules is aligned on each side of the tentacles. There are numerous sclerites in all parts of the colony, densely packed in the pinnules and scarce in the mid-line of the tentacles’ oral side. The sclerites are Ovabunda   -type, varying in shape from regular spheroids ( Fig. 20b View Figure 20 ) to egg-shaped ( Fig. 20a View Figure 20 ) and more rectangular forms ( Fig. 20c View Figure 20 ), measuring 0.014-0.033 × 0.022-0.046 mm in diameter (n = 45). Rarely, two sclerites are fused, reaching a diameter of up to 0.051 mm ( Fig. 20d View Figure 20 ).

The four paratypes (ZMTAU Co 31625) are smaller than the holotype, 12-17 mm high; the stalk is 10-15 mm long, 4-6 mm wide at the stalk base and 6-8 mm wide at the upper part. Polyp’s body is up to 5 mm long, and tentacles up to 3 mm long, featuring one row of 12-17 pinnules on each side. The pinnules are 1.2 mm long and 0.2 mm wide at their base, densely set in each row, almost touching each other. The sclerites are Ovabunda   -type, measuring 0.018-0.030 × 0.022-0.049 mm in diameter (n = 38). Occasionally, two sclerites are fused, reaching a maximum size of 0.049 mm. The original description did not mention polyp pulsation. The ethanol-preserved colonies are light brown.


The features of the holotype and paratypes agree with the original description of the species. The species was assigned by Alderslade (2001) to Ovabunda   (see Introduction) and this is confirmed in the current study.

Similar species.

Ovabunda verseveldti   is most similar to Ovabunda benayahui   . Although they both have one row of pinnules the numbers of pinnules in the outermost row ranges from 12-18 in Ovabunda verseveldti   compared to 6-7 in Ovabunda benayahui   .


Red Sea: Gulf of Aqaba, southern tip of Sinai Peninsula.














Ovabunda verseveldti (Benayahu, 1990)

Halasz, Anna, McFadden, Catherine S., Aharonovich, Dafna, Toonen, Robert & Benayahu, Yehuda 2014

Xenia verseveldti

Benayahu 1990