This year gave us a bumper crop of new neat little crabs and hermit crab species although it was kind of mild on the new coral species front. Any given year it’s impossible to compare the number of new reef fish species described – this year we even had to split off the best new wrasse species from the top 10 new species of reef fish!
Nevertheless, the invertebrates that scientists revealed to the world on our last orbit of the sun do include some very fun and interesting species. There was one little crab that paid homage to Harry Potter but the two hermit crabs, one that is a parasite cleaner in caves, and another that uses walking dendro corals as a home, are actually quite fascinating.
Meanwhile the few new species of corals we covered are interesting more for where they come from then what they are. We had a familiar Cyphastrea from far flung Lord Howe Island and another Cyphastrea from the exotic Red Sea. However it’s the deep living Sinularia mesophotica which is perhaps the most interesting to learn about, pushing the boundaries of how deep photosynthetic soft corals are known to live.