The discoveries of new fish species were really impressive this year and the coral and giant clam taxonomists also had their hands full in 2014. Across the board we are still seeing a nice steady flow of new soft and stony coral species, and this year was special in that it gifted us with not one but two species of giant clams.
One of the new giant clams species Tridacna noae is one which we’ve enjoyed for many years now and the other, T. ningaloo is less dramatically different but it still excites us to discover new species in this iconic group of reef animals. There were at least six notable new species of reef corals this year, all but one of them a stony coral and perhaps the most shocking reveal is that the coral we’ve long enjoyed as Blastomussa wellsi is actually a new and different species.
It gives us great pride and pleasure that our own reef surveying efforts helped us to discover again not one but two unknown “species” of Acropora in Flores; these two very unusual Acros are not confirmed new species but either way, they are both unlike anything we or any of our coral-obsessed colleagues can identify.
At the current rate of new coral and giant clam species discoveries many of our analog aquarium books will be in dire need of updating very soon. Let’s hope that even more species are revealed in 2015 so that there’s enough new information to be published that some motivated coral or fish lovers will be inspired to write new books.