New records of Heteropathes Opresko, 2011 (Anthozoa: Antipatharia) from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
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Heteropathes opreski de Matos, Braga-Henriques, Santos & Ribeiro, 2014 (Antipatharia: Cladopathidae) was recently described based on a single specimen from northeast of the Oceanographer Fracture Zone, Mid-Atlantic. Several specimens of the same species were recently collected in the vicinity of Semenov and Irinovskoe ore clusters (northern subequatorial Mid-Atlantic Ridge). Based on this new material, a re-description of the species, an emended diagnosis and a comparison with hitherto known species of the genus are provided. Such a diagnosis is needed because two key characters outlined in the original description as distinctive for this species (short lateral pinnules and larger spines at lateral pinnules) appear to be misinterpreted features caused by the poor condition of the holotype, which was damaged and undergoing regeneration. H. opreski differs from all other known species of the genus by more densely set lateral pinnules and occasionally anastomosing subpinnules on the anterior primary pinnules. The species is known exclusively from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (34°46.7′ N to 13°19.43′ N) at depths 1,955–2,738 m and is considered here as putatively endemic of the area.
KeywordsBlack corals Taxonomy Distribution Ore fields Growth disturbances
I would like to thank Dennis Opresko, Stephen Cairns and Geoff Keel (Smithsonian Institution) for the possibility to study the type material of H. americana Opresko, 2003 and H. pacifica Opresko, 2005 during my visit to Smithsonian Institution in August 2015, which was supported by a U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) grant to the Smithsonian Institution. The author is very appreciative of the DoJ’s support of black coral research. I am indebted to the crew and scientific team of RV Professor Logachev and especially to Irina Dobretsova (PMGRE), who made biological samples available for the present study. Also, I would like to thank Denis Opresko, Bert Hoeksema and one anonymous reviewer for their valuable comments on the manuscript. This research was funded in part by research grant of RFBR grant 13-04-01332a (comparative taxonomical analysis) and RSF grant 14-50-00095 (processing and SEM study of material). The research leading to these results has also received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under the MIDAS project, grant agreement n° 603418.
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