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Ahermatypic Seleractinia are very common throughout the tropical western Atlantic, both in number of species and individuals. Of the Scleractinia known from the western Atlantic, there are over twice as many species of ahermatypes (species that do not have symbiotic zooxanthellae) as hermatypes (the shallow-water “reef corals,” all of which have zooxanthellae). This paper is a review of all known species of deep-water Scleractinia that occur in the Caribbean Sea and adjacent waters, all of which are ahermatypic. The term “deep-water” is used here to designate depths equal to or greater than 200 meters; the 88 species treated all have bathymetric ranges that exceed 200 meters at their deepest points. Another 27 ahermatypic species are confined to the shallow water (0-200 m) of the Caribbean, and two species are known from off tropical Brazil but not the Caribbean, resulting in 117 species of tropical western Atlantic ahermatypes. The only person to have comprehensively studied the deep-water western Atlantic corals was POURTALÈS, whose last publication was in 1880. In the ensuing century, large collections have accumulated and Scleractinian classification has been greatly modified. This review is based primarily on the large collections at the University of Miami (RSMAS), USNM, and MCZ.
Full text not (yet) indexed.Classification
Scleractinia (Hard Corals)
Dredging / trawling