A new genus, Aldersladum (family Alcyoniidae), is established to accommodate a previously described species, Effl atounaria sodwanae Benayahu, 1993 (family Xeniidae) from Sodwana Bay, South Africa that was wrongly assigned to the latter genus. Th is species is redescribed and a second new species, A. jengi from Penghu Is., Taiwan, is described. Th e diagnostic features of the new genus include the presence of only figure-eight shaped platelets in all parts of the colony, thus differentiating it from all known genera of the Alcyoniidae. Based on examination of additional material from other localities, the zoogeographical distribution of the genus is confirmed to include the coral reefs of South Africa, Kenya, Gulf of Oman, Taiwan and Japan. Phylogenetic analyses of two mitochondrial genes strongly support its placement in the family Alcyoniidae.
© 2011 Catherine S. McFadden. Posted with permission.
Benayahu Y, McFadden CS (2011) A new genus of soft coral of the family Alcyoniidae (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) with re-description of a new combination and description of a new species. Zookeys 84: 1-11.