New Acropora species are not discovered very often so it was with great excitement that we came to learn that a recent biodiversity survey in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands discovered a new Acropora species from Papahanaumokuakea. If you’ll recall, last year a survey to the Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument yielded other new species of marine life including a new Prognathodes butterflyfish which greatly resembles Prognathodes basabei.
Most of the suspected new species of stony corals were actually found at 150 feet or below save for the new Acropora species which prefers to live in shallow water like most Acros. The new Hawaiian Acropora greatly resmbles A. retusa, A. globiceps, and stubbier colonies of A. samoensis which all occur in the central Pacific Ocean nearest to Hawaii and they all belong to the Acropora humilis group. The researchers will likely take a couple years to review and study the specimens they collected but let’s hope they don’t describe this species with the tongue-twisting name of Acropora papahanaumokuakeaensis. [via Savannah Now]