Cite this paper:
Yu XU, Zifeng ZHAN, Kuidong XU. Morphology and phylogeny of Chrysogorgia pinniformis sp. nov. and C. varians sp. nov., two golden corals from the Caroline seamounts in the tropical Western Pacific Ocean[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2021, 39(5): 1767-1789

Morphology and phylogeny of Chrysogorgia pinniformis sp. nov. and C. varians sp. nov., two golden corals from the Caroline seamounts in the tropical Western Pacific Ocean

Yu XU1,3, Zifeng ZHAN1,2, Kuidong XU1,2,3
1 Laboratory of Marine Organism Taxonomy and Phylogeny, Shandong Province Key Laboratory of Experimental Marine Biology, Institute of Oceanology, Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
2 Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai 519082, China;
3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Two new species of Chrysogorgia Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 collected from the Caroline seamounts in the tropical Western Pacific Ocean are described. Chrysogorgia pinniformis sp. nov. belongs to Versluys' group C (Squamosae typicae) with only scales in polyp body wall and tentacles. C. pinniformis sp. nov. is characterized by large branches pinnately branched and forming multiple fans with its small branches regularly and quasi-dichotomous branched, and scales and rods present in the polyp mouth area. It is most similar to C. pinnata Cairns, 2007 by the pinnate trait, but differs from the latter by its group C pattern (vs. group A, Spiculosae) and having sclerites present in the polyp mouth area (vs. absent). Chrysogorgia varians sp. nov. belongs to the Chrysogorgia group A (Spiculosae) with rods distributed in the polyp body wall and tentacles. It is characterized by warty rods and elongated scales in the tentacles, many warts and ridges on the scales, conspicuously toothed margins at the rounded ends in the pinnules, and small rods with ridge-like warts in the polyp mouth area. This species was frequent and abundant in the Caroline seamounts during our cruises and its morphological variability in growth period was obvious. The phylogenetic analyses based on mtMutS and 28S rDNA regions supported the assignment of the new species to the genus Chrysogorgia. However, the mtMutS marker showed very limited usefulness for species delimitation and inner relationship inference of Chrysogorgia. In contrast, the 28S rDNA showed much higher level of genetic variation, and it may be a potential barcode for this genus. In the 28S rDNA trees, the two new species clustered together. Additionally, compilation of our data showed that 42 of 78 (ca. 54%) Chrysogorgia species were found in the Indo-West Pacific convergent region, indicating that this area may be a hotspot of deep-water Chrysogorgia species.
Key words:    Anthozoa|Octocorallia|Chrysogorgiidae|deep sea|taxonomy   
Received: 2020-10-10   Revised: 2020-11-13
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