Four new species and one new genus of zoanthids (Cnidaria, Hexacorallia) from the Galápagos Islands

James Davis Reimer, Takuma Fujii

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research has confirmed the presence of several species of undescribed macrocnemic zoanthids (Cnidaria: Hexacorallia: Zoantharia: Macrocnemina) in the Galápagos. In this study four new species, including two belonging to a new genus, are described. Two species, Terrazoanthus onoi sp. n. and Terrazoanthus sinnigeri sp. n., both belong within the recently erected family Hydrozoanthidae to the new genus Terrazoanthus, which can be distinguished from the type genus Hydrozoanthus by being attached to abiotic substrate as opposed to hydrozoans for Hydrozoanthus. Each new species of zoanthid can be clearly distinguished by a number of characters. Antipathozoanthus hickmani sp. n. is distinguished by its exclusive association with the antipatharian Antipathes galapagensis, and has approximately 40 tentacles. Parazoanthus darwini sp. n. is distinguished by its frequent association with sponges, with approximately 24-30 tentacles and polyps embedded in a well-developed coenenchyme. T. onoi sp. n. is distinguished by its bright red oral disk color, 32-40 tentacles, and has only basitrichs and mastigophores present in the pharynx. T. sinnigeri sp. n. is distinguished by usually occurring on the underside of rubble and rocks on sandy bottoms, showing 30-36 tentacles, and numerous nematocyst types in the pharynx. The two Terrazoanthus species, although divergent in both morphology and ecology, are apparently very closely related, with identical mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA and cytochrome oxidase subunit I sequences. These two species can be molecularly distinguished by their subtly different yet distinct sequences of internal transcribed spacer of ribosomal DNA (ITS-rDNA).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Galápagos
  • ITS-rDNA
  • mt DNA
  • New genus
  • New species
  • Zoanthid


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