Ovabunda crenata (Reinicke, 1997)

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: 17-19

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scientific name

Ovabunda crenata (Reinicke, 1997)

comb. n.

Ovabunda crenata (Reinicke, 1997)   comb. n. Fig. 10 View Figure 10

Xenia crenata   Reinicke, 1997: 41-42, figs 3c, 15; plates 5, 25.


Holotype: RMNH Coel. 23538, Sudanese Red Sea, Sanganeb Atoll, 20 km off Port Sudan, S-slope near jetty (19°21'33.81"N, 37°19'37.66"E), 10 m, April 1991, coll. G.B. Reinicke; additional material: RMNH Coel. 23517, Sudanese Red Sea, Sanganeb Atoll, lagoon slope, TQ II station, 8 m, March 1991, coll. G.B. Reinicke; type of Xenia viridis   SMF 42, Indonesia, Ternate island, 1894, coll. Kükenthal; type of Xenia blumi   SMF 44, Indonesia, Ternate island, 1894, coll. Kükenthal.


The holotype is 30 mm high and 10 mm wide at its base. The stalk splits into two branches. The first is 15 mm long, 6 mm wide at its base and 10 mm wide at its uppermost part; the second splits further into two branches, 15 and 7 mm long, each 5 mm wide at the base, and 10 and 7 mm wide at the upper part, respectively. Polyp’s body is up to 5 mm long and the tentacles up to 5 mm long. The pinnules are mostly arranged in two rows, with an occasional third row. There are 12-16 pinnules in the outermost row, 1 mm long and 0.14 mm wide, with a 0.2 mm space between adjacent pinnules. Sclerites are very scarce in all parts of the holotype; they are Ovabunda   -type spheroids, measuring 0.012-0.028 × 0.018-0.036 mm in diameter (n = 35 sclerites). Occasionally, two sclerites are fused, reaching 0.050 mm in maximal diameter. SEM micrographs of sclerites were obtained only from the additional material due to low density of sclerites in the holotype. Reinicke (1997) recorded non-pulsating polyps for the species. The ethanol preserved holotype is light beige.


RMNH Coel. 23517 is similar in size to the holotype. Polyp’s body is up to 2 mm long, with 2 mm long tentacles, mostly bearing two rows of 1 mm long and 0.1 mm wide slender pinnules on each of the tentacle sides, and, rarely, a third row. The outermost row features 12-15 pinnules, up to one pinnule-width apart. Sclerites are of the Ovabunda   -type, varying in shape from regular ( Fig. 10a View Figure 10 ), egg-shaped ( Fig. 10c View Figure 10 ) and more rectangular ( Fig. 10d View Figure 10 ), ranging 0.016-0.026 × 0.028-0.040 mm (n = 25 sclerites) in diameter. Occasionally, two sclerites are fused, reaching 0.047 mm in maximal diameter ( Fig. 10b View Figure 10 ).

Reinicke (1997) noted under the description of Xenia crenata   sp. n. (p. 41): "? Xenia blumi   Schenk 1896; Gohar 1940: 98, Plate 5 View Figure 5 " and " Xenia blumi   Schenk 1896 sensu Gohar - Reinicke 1995: 42, Fig. 31". Reinicke (1997) also noted: "? Xenia viridis   Schenk 1896; Benayahu 1990: 115 (listed)". The description of Xenia blumi   according to Gohar (1940) does not match Ovabunda crenata   features. Examination of the types of Xenia blumi   and Xenia viridis   during the current study (see Table 1) revealed them to have platelet-shaped sclerites composed of dendritic rods, and to differ from Ovabunda crenata   .


The original description of the holotype indicated three rows of pinnules, whereas the present examination revealed mostly two rows, with an indication of a third one. There is agreement between our findings and the original description regarding the number of pinnules in the outermost row of the tentacles (12-16 vs. 12-15, respectively). Sclerites correspond to the original description in size but are Ovabunda   -type spheroids; therefore, it is concluded that the species should be assigned to Ovabunda   .

Similar species.

Ovabunda crenata   is most similar to Ovabunda biseriata   . Although they both have overlapping number of pinnules in the outermost row, 12-16 and 13-16, respectively, Ovabunda biseriata   has two rows of pinnules and Ovabunda crenata   occasionally presents a third row. They both have non-pulsating polyps in live colonies.


Red Sea: Gulf of Aqaba, Sudan.














Ovabunda crenata (Reinicke, 1997)

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

Xenia crenata

Halász & McFadden & Aharonovich & Toonen & Benayahu 2014