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Ideogorgia laurae, an uncommon new octocoral species (Alcyonacea: Keroeididae) from a newly established Marine Protected Area at Burdwood Bank, Argentina

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A new deep-sea keroeidid octocoral, Ideogorgia laurae, is described from Burdwood Bank, Argentina. It is distinguished from its single congener by the presence of conspicuous calyces, anthocodial sclerites (flattened and warted rods) and large coenenchymal triradiates. This is the deepest and the first record of that genus outside southern African waters. In addition, this is the first new species described for the recently created Marine Protected Area Namuncura II at Burdwood Bank, Argentine Sea. This discovery in a very well-sampled area shows how little we know about that fauna, and also reinforces the importance of creating MPAs to safeguard hotspots of biodiversity in Subantarctic waters. Finally, the new species is an evidence of early connections between deep Subantarctic and shallow South African benthic faunas.

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We would like to thank the RV “Puerto Deseado” and the crew for the help during sampling procedures, as well as Daniel Roccatagliata (Scientific chief of the expedition) and Ignacio Chiesa (who sorted the material trawled). Burdwood Bank surveys were supported by the Argentinean Government and AMP Namuncurá. Special thanks to Laura Schejter (INIDEP) for facilitating access to the specimen and for assistance with the Scanning Electron Microscope. Thanks to Dr. Stephen Cairns and Scott Whittaker (National Museum of Natural History—Smithsonian Institution) for the access to facilities and the use of the SEM Lab, respectively. Thanks to Christina Piotrowski and Dr. Gary Williams (California Academy of Sciences) for the loan of the comparative material. This study was partially supported by CNPq—Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (Grants—CNPq/MCTI/FACEPE/PROTAX Nº 001/2015, 440633/20150 and APQ-0913-2.04/17 and Marine Biotechnology Network 408934/2013-1) to C.D.P. RTSC was funded by Grant 2018/13554-8, São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior, Brasil (CAPES), Finance Code 001. Contribution Nº 30 of Area Marina Protegida Namuncurá (Ley 26.875).

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Supplementary file1 Online Resource 1 Station data from Oceanographic Vessel “Puerto Deseado” (CONICET, Argentina) (April 2013 - three stations; April 2016 – 26 stations; April 2017 – 26 stations) and the vessel “Prefecto García” (Prefectura Naval Argentina - Argentine Coastguards) (December 2015 – eight stations). (XLSX 17 kb)

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Pérez, C.D., Cordeiro, R.T.S. Ideogorgia laurae, an uncommon new octocoral species (Alcyonacea: Keroeididae) from a newly established Marine Protected Area at Burdwood Bank, Argentina. Polar Biol 43, 63–69 (2020).

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