Nidalia occidentalis Gray, 1935:60.
Remarks. Nidalia occidentalis is easily distinguishable from other octocorals in the SAB by its stiff, barren stalk and capitate head bearing the monomorphic polyps and conical calyces. The stalk bears large (up to 1 mm), slightly curved, tuberculated spindles while the anthocodiae contain smaller needle-like rods in a collaret and points arrangement, and small flat platelets. The large spindles are six times longer than wide, a feature that distinguishes N. occidentalis from N. rigida, which bears thicker spindles. In life, one SERTC Nidalia occidentalis specimen had an orange stalk and red terminus bearing white polyps. In the preserved state the colors are slightly duller. The examined specimens reach 20 mm in length.
Atlantic distribution: North Carolina to French
Guiana, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, 37-440 m (one record off Venezuela
indicates collection from 914 m) (Deichmann, 1936; Bayer, 1961;
Verseveldt, 1978; NMNH collections; SERTC collection).
Figure 1. Nidalia occidentalis (live specimen,