The South Atlantic Bight
Octocoral Morphology

Gorgonacean Bauplan

List of Species

Occurence Table

Key to the Families of Octocorals in the South Atlantic Bight

Key to the Species of


Notes on the Species
Carijoa riisei
Scleranthelia rugosa
Telesto fruticulosa
Telesto nelleae
Telesto sanguinea
Bellonella rubistella
Pseudodrifa nigra
Nidalia occidentalis
Iciligorgia schrammi
Diodogorgia nodulifera
Titanideum frauenfeldii
Muricea pendula
Thesea nivea
Bebryce grandis
Bebryce parastellata
Scleracis guadalupensis
Leptogorgia hebes
Leptogorgia punicea
Leptogorgia cardinalis
Leptogorgia virgulata
Leptogorgia setacea
Leptogorgia euryale
Ctenocella (Ellisella) barbadensis
Renilla reniformis
Sclerobelemnon theseus
Stylatula elegans
Virgularia presbytes

References Cited

Suggested Reading/Viewing


Key to Families of Shallow Water (0-200m) Octocorals of the South Atlantic Bight

Suborder Holaxonia- Couplet 6

6a. – Sclerites generally large (0.3-2.0 mm), comprised of double-headed clubs, spindles, capstans, stars, rosettes, cups, or plates. Cortex generally loculated. Calyces often very prominent, often appearing spiky, conical, cylindrical or shelf-like, generally with a well developed crown ....................................Family Plexauridae

Calyces of Muricea pendula Calyces of Scleracis guadalupensis
crown and points of Thesea nivea conical calyces of Thesea nivea
Calyces of top left: Muricea pendula (courtesy NMNH/FM Bayer); top right: Scleracis guadalupensis; bottom left: crown and points of Thesea nivea; bottom right: conical calyces of Thesea nivea

6b. – Small sclerites (<0.2mm) made of warty spindles, small radiates and flattened rods; generally symmetrical, except for sometimes having partially fused discs. Cortex unloculated or minimally so. Calyces moderately prominent, hemispherical or flush, generally with a poorly developed crown .....................................Family Gorgoniidae

stem of Leptogorgia setacea weak crown of Leptogorgia hebes
calyces of Leptogorgia hebes
top left: stem of Leptogorgia setacea; top right: weak crown of Leptogorgia hebes; bottom: calyces of Leptogorgia hebes

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