Rosgorgia inexspectata, new genus and species of Subergorgiidae (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) from off the Antarctic Peninsula
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The family Subergorgiidae comprises two genera, Subergorgia with three species and Annella with two species. All the previously known species are distributed in tropical and subtropical waters from the northern Red Sea to the central Pacific. The presence of a subergorgiid in Antarctic waters could support the hypothesis that at least part of the Antarctic fauna has its origin in the Cretaceous period, when Antarctica was part of the Gondwana continent. The new genus Rosgorgia with the new species inexspectata is placed in the family Subergorgiidae by the presence of smooth, fusiform and often anastomosing needles in the axis, wart spindles in the coenenchyme, and coelenteric cavities of polyps only present in the coenenchyme. The genus Rosgorgia differs from Subergorgia and Annella by the presence of tuberculate rods in the axis. It is further distinguished from Annella by the absence of double-disk sclerites in the coenenchyme, and not anastomosing branches.
KeywordsCretaceous Gondwana Antarctic Peninsula Antarctic Water Subtropical Water
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