Members of the family Coralliidae, known as precious corals, are ecologically and economically important deep-sea organisms. However, these organisms are currently threatened by commercial harvesting. In order to create and implement effective conservative strategies, taxonomic knowledge of conservative targets is necessary, but unfortunately the taxonomy of precious corals in this family is still ambiguous. This study provides a review of 15 Coralliidae species from the northern West Pacific region and a key to species identification. In addition, descriptions of two new species, Corallium carusrubrum n. sp. and C. taiwanicum n. sp., as well as a redescription of C. sulcatum Kishinouye, 1903 are included. Corallium carusrubrum n. sp. is distributed on seamounts off northeastern Taiwan. The autozooids of C. carusrubrum n. sp. are retractile and each can be fully withdrawn into the cortex thereby causing a mound on the surface which is short and cylindrical rather than typically hemispherical; additionally, there are no long spindles in their tentacles. Corallium taiwanicum n. sp. is distributed in an area off southwestern Taiwan. It has special unique 8-radiates with an oval shape and large projections. Corallium sulcatum is distributed from an area off southwestern Taiwan to western Japan. It has been harvested and traded for decades, but there were no illustrations in its original description, hence a redescription of this species is provided.
Full text not (yet) indexed.Classification
Scleractinia (Hard Corals)