New records of Pennatulacea (Anthozoa: Octocorallia) from the African Atlantic coast, with description of a new species and a zoogeographic analysis
Keywords:Pennatulacea, South African fauna, zoogeography, Stylatula macphersoni
A collection of pennatulaceans from ten cruises, acquired between 1982 and 1989 from off the western African coast comprises ca. 350 specimens of 13 species. One of the cruise is from the Gulf of Guinea and eight from the Southeast Atlantic. Fifty-four stations were sampled from depths of 91-1112 m. One previously undescribed species in the genus Stylatula is reported and described as new from samples collected from the Namibian continental shelf. Considering these collections, and previous records, the pennatulaceans in the western African region show biogeographic affinities with three geographic areas: West Africa (55.5% of the species), which comprises the Canary, Gulf of Guinea, and Benguela regions; the North Atlantic (3.7% of the species), which represents the more widespread Atlantic taxa; and Cape Endemic (7.4% of the species), which comprises the southern African region.
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