Document Type



Biology (HMC)

Publication Date



The family Xeniidae (Octocorallia) constitutes an abundant benthic component on many Indo-West Pacific coral reefs and is ecologically important in the Red Sea. The genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001 was recently established to accommodate previous Xenia species with sclerites comprised of a mass of minute corpuscle-shaped microscleres. The aim of the present study was to examine type material of Xenia species in order to verify their generic affiliation. We present here a comprehensive account of the genus Ovabunda, using scanning electron microscopy to depict sclerite microstructure. We assign three Xenia species to the genus: O. ainex comb. n., O. gohari comb. n., and O. crenata comb. n.; and synonymize several other species of Ovabunda. We provide a key to Ovabunda species and conclude that they are mainly confined to the Red Sea, with some occurrence in the West Indian Ocean.


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© 2014 Catherine S. McFadden. Posted with permission.