Ovabunda is a Xeniid genus of soft coral which was just endowed with a new species from Thailand, Ovabunda andamanensis. The genus Ovabunda was created to split off a number of Xenia species into this separate grouping of soft corals which are different from Xenia in having round, oval or irregularly spherical shaped sclerites.
If you’re wondering why we’ve never heard of Ovabunda in aquarium circles perhaps it’s because the genus is concentrated in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The new Ovabunda andamanensis from Thailand is the first such record of the genus so far from the center of diversity for this group of soft corals which are so similar to Xenia.
The description of Ovabunda andamanensis focuses primarily on genetic analysis and micro-morphology using scanning electron microscope imagery so there’s little to go on to tell us reefers how the species is different from Xenia. But from what we can gather in the images Ovabunda in general appears to have a much more delicate build than Xenia with softer polyp stalks and tentacles that are more wispy.
The new species Ovabunda andamanensis is described by Michael Janes et. al. in the latest issue of ZooKeys.