A New Species of Sea Whip Gorgonian-Associated Zoantharian (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Parazoanthidae) from the Ryukyu Islands, Japan, with Subgeneric Subdivision of Genus Umimayanthus

Takuma Fujii, Maria Eduarda Alves Dos Santos, James Davis Reimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Symbioses between invertebrates are common in the ocean although usually the diversity and specificity of their interactions are not well understood. Parazoanthidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Zoantharia) is one of the most diverse zoantharian families in terms of numbers of genera and species. Species in this family are commonly associated with various other invertebrates that they utilize as their substrate. Previous studies have re-organized the taxonomy of Parazoanthidae and revealed a strong specificity between many parazoanthid species and genera and their substrates. However, our understanding of the species diversity of Parazoanthidae is far from complete, as parazoanthids are often overlooked in sampling surveys. In this study, we establish three subgenera under the genus Umimayanthus Montenegro, Sinniger, and Reimer, 2015; the nominotypical Umimayanthus, Paraumimayanthus subgen nov., and Gorgoniazoanthus subgen. nov., based on the finding of a new species, Umimayanthus (Gorgoniazoanthus) kanabou sp. nov., associated with the sea-whip gorgonian Ellisella sp. from approximately 30 m depth in shallow mesophotic coral reef communities in Oura Bay on Okinawajima Island and in Oshima Strait near Amami-Oshima Island, in the Ryukyu Islands, southern Japan. We additionally report on gastropods and crustaceans observed in association with U. kanabou, and these species are thought to potentially prey upon the zoantharians or on gorgonian polyps. Umimayanthus kanabou is phylogenetically closely related to congeneric sponge-Associated Umimayanthus spp., further supporting the recent hypothesis that substrate preferences may change during the evolutionary history of zoantharians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-480
Number of pages15
JournalZoological Science
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • coral reef region
  • East China Sea
  • epizoism
  • mesophotic
  • new subgenus
  • Pacific
  • sheltered bay
  • turbid

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