Porites farasani & P. hadramauti are two new species of small polyp stony corals recently described from the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. These two new Porites species were recognized as novel for having a very different growth form, appearance and corallites that is very distinct from other species of Porites in the area.
Porites farasani was only found in the Farasan Islands of the Southern Red Sea and it usually forms thinly encrusting colonies in shallow water of protected reef environments. Live colonies of P. farasani are green or greenish brown with the tissue of the polyps a darker contrasting color, and it was discovered to have an ‘exclusive lineage of symbionts’ that hasn’t been seen in other species of corals.
Meanwhile Porites hadramauti was collected in Burum, Yemen, also in pretty shallow water between 3 and 5 meters (10 to 16 feet). Live colonies of P. hadramauti are recognizable for having distinctive coloration being mostly white overall, with a dark brownish polyp and red mouth. The two newly described species of Porites are notable both for having distinct morphological characters as well as unique genetic markers from congeners.
Porites farasani & P. hadramauti are described by Terranneo et. al. in the latest issue of Systematics & Biodiversity.