Most of the new coral species that are described these days are discovered living in deep water habitats, usually where only ROVs can go. The genus Adelogorgia from the Eastern Pacific Ocean is one of those groups of Octocorals which has just earned three new members to its genus.
The first two species of Adelogorgia include the finger shaped branches of A. telones pictured above in yellow and white colors, and A. phyllosclera which has the much thinner, whispier branches. Despite having very different branching shapes what ties these species together are its unusual ornamented sclerites, the thin calcified building blocks of many octocorals.
The three new species added to Adelogorgia also bring them with them the odd variability in ppearance, but they have the same characteristic micro features. Adelogorgia osculabunda is a new species in the genus which is pink with conspicuous ‘polyp mounds’ that are a red color, and was sampled off the coast of Costa Rica.
Adelogorgia hannibalis has thinner whispier branches more reminiscent of A. phyllosclera but it has similar polyp mounds that are orange on lighter orange branches. Meanwhile Adelogorgia adusta Biotaxahas the thickest, knobby branches of the group being a wine red color, and polyp mounds that are more deeply embedded in the branches. [Biotaxa]