A survey of xeniid octocorals was carried out in the waters off Southwestern Thailand in September, 2007. Microscopic investigation of the colonies revealed that three specimens belonged to the genus Ovabunda. Gross morphological examination is presented here accompanied by scanning electron micrographs of the sclerites. Molecular phylogenetic analysis showed identical genotypes at mtMutS, COI, and 28S rDNA for all three specimens and supports their generic assignment. Colony size and shape, sclerite size, and pinnule arrangement differ from nominal species of Ovabunda and thus a new species, O. andamanensis is introduced here. This work also presents a new eastern geographical record for the genus Ovabunda.
© 2014 Catherine S. McFadden. Posted with permission.
Janes MP, McFadden CS, Chanmethakul T (2014) A new species of Ovabunda (Octocorallia: Xeniidae) from the Andaman Sea, Thailand, with notes on the biogeography of this genus. ZooKeys 431: 1-17.