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Pocillopora inflata, A New Species of Scleractinian Coral (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) from the Tropical Eastern Pacific

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Title:Pocillopora inflata, A New Species of Scleractinian Coral (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) from the Tropical Eastern Pacific
Authors:Glynn, Peter W.
Date Issued:Apr 1999
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Glynn PW. 1999. Pocillopora inflata, a new species of scleractinian coral (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) from the tropical eastern Pacific. Pac Sci 53(2): 168-180.
Abstract:Pocillopora inflata, n. sp., a relatively rare zooxanthellate scleractinian
coral, is described from live colonies collected in the Galapagos Islands
(Ecuador) and from three additional localities in the tropical, far-eastern Pacific
region. Distinguishing features are (1) swollen terminal or subterminal
branches, (2) verrucae acute and few in number or absent, and (3) columellae
prominent in calices at mid to lower branch levels. The swollen branches and
acute verrucae serve to separate Pocillopora inflata from two morphologically
similar species: Pocillopora diomedeae Vaughan from Easter Island and Pocillopora
informis Dana from Hawai'i. Comparisons of the type colony with paratypes
from the Galapagos Islands and elsewhere in the eastern Pacific revealed
notable intraspecific variability in peripheral branch thickness and verrucae
number and length. This new species is found at shallow depths (2-10 m), often
intermixed with other species of Pocillopora. Where present at five survey sites
in the Galapagos Islands, it made up from 2 to 17% of all species of pocilloporids
combined, with population densities ranging from 0.2 to 2.5 colonies
per hectare.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 53, Number 2, 1999

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