The distribution of Antipathella subpinnata in Italian seas is herein given and discussed. A. subpinnata is a large, white, branched antipatharian with an Atlanto-Mediterranean distribution. It is probably the most commonly observed black coral in this basin and it is possible to find large populations of this species at diving depths. Personal records of the occurrence of the species in the Strait of Messina, together with a wide census involving diving centres along all the Italian coasts, have been used to create a distribution data set. A description of the species, including in vivo measurements of the polyps, is given. Information concerning the habitat, the population density, the substrate, the epibionts and the environmental conditions of the sites where the species was found are also included. This study confirms the importance of A. subpinnata as a common component of the lower fringe of the circalittoral twilight environment, below 50 m depth, in localities where hard substrata are available.
Antipatharia (Black Corals)
SCUBA (open-circuit or unspecified)