Of all the different types of corals we keep in our aquariums, the group that gets the least amount of our attention or bandwidth is undoubtedly the Stylaster corals. It doesn’t help that Stylaster and Distichopora have very poor survival rates in our aquariums, or that they are not “true” corals, but we still could stand to learn more about these animals since their color and growth forms are undeniably exquisite.
Thankfully, while aquarists are busy ignoring the Stylaterids scientists are still doing their job of discovering, studying and naming new species, but best of all, taking lots of pretty pictures for us to enjoy whether they make good aquarium residents or not. Errina labrosa is a new species of deepwater Stylaster coral that was discovered at the Tristan da Cunha Archipelago, one of the remotest islands in the South Atlantic Ocean.
The Authors of the new paper were primarily studying the creatures associated with Stylaterids when they came upon the new species, but our favorite part of this new species description is a closer look at several species of these hydrocorals which we have never seen in such exquisite detail. They may lack the normal coral, polyp, and corallite appearance that we tend to associate with true corals, but these species of the genus Errina and Stephanohelia more than make up for this with a really novel growth form and appearance that we hope to someday enjoy in our captive aquariums. [Zookeys]