The Sea Plume Gorgonians of the Caribbean Sea are more unique than previously thought, having recently been reclassified into their own genus, Antillogorgia. The genus Pseudopterogorgia formerly contained the Caribbean Sea Plume gorgonians as well as a host of other Pacific Ocean species but the new Antillogorgia genus will take over for all sea plumes found in the Tropical Western atlantic.
Apparently the biggest problem with Pseudopterogorgia was that it included a diversity of gorgonian species which were quite different in morphology and lifestyle as all but the familiar sea plumes are photosynthetic. By allocating all 11 species of zooxanthellate sea plumes from the Caribbean to a distinct genus perhaps we will begin to tease out more interesting aspects of these gorgeous soft corals whose popularity has greatly increased in recent years. Image above from California Academy of Sciences showing the two different lineages.