Two new coral species found off West Coast of North America
Two new species of octocoral have been discovered off the Pacific Coast of the United States and Canada. The new corals were discovered in a tide pool in San Diego and the other off the coast of British Columbia. Octocorals are named because each coral polyp has eight tentacles.
The coral found in San Diego was discovered in a tide pool overhang was named Cryptophyton jedsmithi. Since this coral is hard too see the name Cryptophyton means hidden creature, a perfect name since this coral looks like just a brown film to the untrained eye. This coral is an intertidal zone so it does get exposed to air and when underwater again, extends its orange polyps.
The other coral was found by divers in 40 feet of water and was actually a misidentified coral until it was sent to a researcher who identified it as a new species named Gersemia lambi, or “Lamb’s soft coral.”
Both corals were described by Gary Williams, a researcher at the California Academy of Sciences, in the journal ZooKeys.