to the Shallow Water (0-200 m) Octocorals of the South Atlantic
S. T. DeVictor
& S. L. Morton, 2007
The South Atlantic Bight
For the purposes of this work, the South Atlantic Bight (SAB) is defined as the coast of the United States between Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and Cape Canaveral, Florida (Figure 1). This region of the Atlantic encompasses the continental shelf, slope and rise, and includes the Blake Plateau. This work discusses only octocorals found in 200 m or less in the SAB, as the continental slope rapidly drops off at that point and becomes habitat to a significantly different assemblage of octocoral species. The sub-tropical and tropical areas to the south of Cape Canaveral have a more diverse group of octocorals, specifically gorgoniids and plexaurids, but some species overlap. Several species discussed in this work occur through the tropical latitudes and into the coast of South America, but for a few the southern tip of Florida is the limit to their southern range. Some of these species are absent in Florida and the Caribbean, but reappear in the Gulf of Mexico. Bayer (1954, 1961) discussed the concept of Carolinian fauna and disjunct populations in the northern Gulf of Mexico.