Octocorallia

 Organ pipe coral Tubipora, photographed by Mark A. Wilson.

Belongs within: Anthozoa.
Contains: Nephtheidae, Gorgoniidae, Calcaxonia, Alcyoniidae, Plexauridae.

The Octocorallia, octocorals, are a well-defined group of mostly colonial cnidarians with polyps with eight tentacles and eight mesenteries, and often with pinnules on the tentacles (Daly et al. 2007). Past classifications of the octocorals have often recognised a distinction between the Gorgonaria (with a horny or calcareous axial skeleton) and the entirely soft-bodied Alcyonaria but phylogenetic studies have not recovered these groups as separate lineages. The Protoalcyonaria are a small group of species characterised by solitary polyps (Daly et al. 2007).

The Helioporacea are a small assemblage of octocorals that are distinctive in forming a calcified skeleton of crystalline aragonite. It is represented in the modern fauna by just four species of which the blue coral Heliopora coerulea is common in shallow-water coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific. The remaining three, less well-known species belong to the genus Epiphaxum (Daly et al. 2007).

Octocorallia [Coenothecalia]
    |  i. s.: Echmatocrinus Sprinkle 1973A99, SM78 [Echmatocrinea, Echmatocrinida, Echmatocrinidae]
    |           `--*E. brachiatus Sprinkle 1973SM78
    |         PetilavenulaEL11
    |--Septodaeum [Septodaearia, Septodaeidae]NS93
    |    `--S. siluricum Bischoff 1978NS93
    |--HelioporaceaDB07
    |    |--Ephiphaxum [Lithotelestidae]DB07
    |    |    `--E. auloporoides Lonsdale 1850NS93
    |    `--HelioporidaeDB07
    |         |--Heliopora coerulea (Pallas 1766)M09
    |         `--Pseudopolytremacis hanagaensis Kuz’micheva 1975NS93
    `--Alcyonacea [Alcyonaria, Alcyoniina, Gorgonacea, Gorgonaria, Holaxonia, Isides, Scleraxonia, Stolonifera]DB07
         |  i. s.: AcrossotaDB07
         |         ClavulariidaeDB07
         |           |--Carijoa riiseiMG-H11, D10
         |           |--StereotelestoMG-H11
         |           |--Clavularia petricolaPP64
         |           `--Scyphopodium ingolfiNS93
         |         Pseudogorgia [Pseudogorgiidae]DB07
         |           `--P. godeffroyiDB07
         |         ProtoalcyonariaDB07
         |           |--HaimeidaeDB07
         |           `--Taiaroa [Taiaroidae]DB07
         |                `--T. tauhouDB07
         |         Calyptrophora Gray 1866G66
         |           |--*C. japonica Gray 1866G66
         |           `--C. wyvilleiH04
         |         Homophyton Gray 1866G66
         |           `--*H. gattyiae Gray 1866G66
         |         Platycaulos danielsseniH04
         |         Euplexaura parcicladosH04
         |         PrimnoellaH04
         |           |--P. australasiaeH04
         |           |--P. biserialisH04
         |           `--P. murrayiH04
         |         Stenella spinosaH04
         |         Calypterinus allmaniH04
         |         Juncea barbadensisH04
         |         Anthomuricea argenteaH04
         |         BriareidaeDB07
         |           |--Briareum asbestinumRB14
         |           `--Kaluginella turkmenensis Kuz’micheva 1980NS93
         |         CoralliumPP64 [CoralliidaeDB07]
         |           `--C. rubrum [incl. Isis nobilis]G20
         |         Parisis Verrill 1864VMK09 [incl. Trinella Gray 1870VMK09; ParisididaeDB07]
         |           `--P. steenstrupi Nielsen 1917NS93
         |         Leioptilus fimbriatusC-SC03
         |         LobophytumH94
         |           |--L. crassumH94
         |           |--L. crebriplicatumH94
         |           |--L. cristagalliH94
         |           |--L. latilobatumH94
         |           `--L. pauciflorum Ehrenberg 1833WG71
         |         LitophytonH94
         |           |--L. acutifoliumH94
         |           `--L. stuhlmanniH94
         |         HeteroxeniaH94
         |         Paralemnalia thyrsoidesH94
         |         ParerythropodiumH94
         |           |--P. coralloides [=Alcyonium coralloides]PP64
         |           `--P. fulvumH94
         |         ParalcyoniidaeDB07
         |           |--StuderiotesDB07
         |           |--Paralcyonium elegansPP64
         |           |--CeeceenusDB07
         |           `--MaasellaDB07
         |         NephtheidaeDB07
         |         GorgoniidaeDB07
         |         KeroeididaeDB07
         |           |--Keroeides erythraea (Kükenthal 1904)MG-H11
         |           `--Krimella klikusini Kuz’micheva 1980NS93
         |         Calcigorgia spiculiferaD10
         |         Acanthoisis flabellumH15
         |         Muriceopsis flavidaW87
         |         Pseudoplexaura wagenaariW87
         |         Pragnellia arborescens Leith 1952NS93
         |         Militaea ochraceaG20
         |         Pterogorgia ancepsR22
         |         Eriska Risso 1826R26
         |           `--*E. velutina Risso 1826R26
         |--Cornularia [Cornulariidae]BP14
         |    |--C. australisH15
         |    |--C. pabloiBP14
         |    `--C. rugosaR26
         `--+--+--CalcaxoniaBP14
            |  `--+--AlcyoniidaeBP14
            |     `--Paragorgia [Paragorgiidae]BP14
            |          |--P. arboreaBP14
            |          `--P. johnsoniBP14
            `--+--Tubipora Linnaeus 1758BP14, L58 [Tubiporidae]
               |    |--T. arenosa Linnaeus 1758L58
               |    |--T. infundibuliformis Linnaeus 1758L58
               |    |--T. musica Linnaeus 1758L58
               |    |--T. repens Linnaeus 1758L58
               |    |--T. urceus Linnaeus 1758L58
               |    `--T. verrucosa Linnaeus 1758L58
               `--+--NidaliidaeDB07
                  |    |--Nidalia dissidensBP14
                  |    `--Chironephthya dipsacea Wright & Stüder 1889MG-H11
                  |--+--Siphonogorgia godeffroyiBP14
                  |  `--+--Acanthoaxis wirtziBP14
                  |     `--Cryptophyton goddardiBP14
                  |--+--Alertigorgia mjoebergi (Broch 1916)BP14, MG-H11
                  |  `--MelithaeidaeG76
                  |       |--Clathraria rubrinodis Gray 1859G76
                  |       |--Mopsella klunzingeri Kükenthal 1908MG-H11
                  |       |--MelithaeaBP14
                  |       `--Acabaria Gray 1859G76
                  |            |--A. biserialis Kükenthal 1908 [incl. Melitodes splendens Thomson & McQueen 1908]G76
                  |            |--A. erythraea (Ehrenberg 1834) [=Mopsea erythraea]G76
                  |            |--A. mangyshlakensis Kuz’micheva 1980NS93
                  |            `--A. pulchra Hickson 1937G76
                  `--+--+--AnthothelidaeDB07
                     |  |    |--Solenocaulon ramosa Hickson 1903MG-H11
                     |  |    `--Anthothela Verrill 1879BP14, OHO04
                     |  |         `--A. vickersi (Benham 1928)OHO04
                     |  `--+--SinulariaBP14
                     |     |    |--S. duraH94
                     |     |    |--S. eliatensisBP14
                     |     |    |--S. higaiD10
                     |     |    |--S. mammiferaD10
                     |     |    `--S. yamazatoiD10
                     |     `--SarcophytonBP14
                     |          |--S. acutangulumH94
                     |          |--S. elegansH94
                     |          |--S. glaucumLO02
                     |          |--S. nanwanensisD10
                     |          |--S. stolidotumH94
                     |          `--S. trocheliophorum Marenzeller 1886WG71
                     `--+--+--NephthyigorgiaBP14
                        |  `--+--RumphellaBP14
                        |     `--+--Eunephthya ericiusBP14
                        |        `--Capnella imbricataBP14
                        `--+--+--AnnellaBP14
                           |  |    |--A. mollisBP14
                           |  |    `--A. reticulata (Ellis & Solander 1786)MG-H11
                           |  `--+--PlexauridaeBP14
                           |     `--MuriceaBP14
                           |          |--M. austeraBP14
                           |          |--M. chamaeleonPP64
                           |          `--M. hebricoidesPP64
                           `--+--Alaskagorgia aleutianaBP14
                              `--+--+--Subergorgia [Subergorgiidae]BP14
                                 |  |    |--S. hicksoniG76
                                 |  |    |--S. kollikeri Wright & Stüder 1889MG-H11
                                 |  |    |--S. reticulataH94
                                 |  |    `--S. suberosaBP14
                                 |  `--+--Psammogorgia simplexBP14
                                 |     |--SwiftiaBP14
                                 |     |    |--S. exsertaBP14
                                 |     |    `--S. pacificaBP14
                                 |     `--+--PseudopterogorgiaBP14
                                 |        |    |--P. americanaW87
                                 |        |    |--P. bipinnataT87
                                 |        |    `--P. elisabethaeBP14
                                 |        `--+--Pacifigorgia smithsonianaBP14
                                 |           `--LeptogorgiaBP14
                                 |                |--L. cuspidataBP14
                                 |                `--L. virgulataKG03
                                 `--+--EunicellaBP14
                                    |    |--E. cavoliniiCV16
                                    |    |--E. gramineaPP64
                                    |    |--E. strictaR79
                                    |    |    |--E. s. strictaT87
                                    |    |    `--E. s. aphytaT87
                                    |    |--E. tricoronataBP14
                                    |    `--E. verrucosaPP15
                                    `--+--+--Coelogorgia Milne-Edwards & Haime 1857 [Coelogorgiidae, Telestacea]BP14
                                       |  |    `--*C. palmosa Milne-Edwrds & Haime 1857BP14
                                       |  `--+--LemnaliaBP14
                                       |     `--+--XeniidaeDB07
                                       |        |    |--NephtyaNS93
                                       |        |    |--Xenia elongataW87
                                       |        |    `--AntheliaBP14
                                       |        |         |--A. glaucaBP14
                                       |        |         `--A. pulposa Risso 1826R26
                                       |        `--+--CespitulariaBP14
                                       |           |    |--C. erectaBP14
                                       |           |    `--C. multipinnataH94
                                       |           `--+--Sarcothelia edmondsoniBP14
                                       |              `--SansibiaBP14
                                       `--+--BenryceBP14
                                          `--+--MuriceidesBP14
                                             `--+--+--EchinomuriceaBP14
                                                |  `--Stenogorgiinae [Paramuriceidae, Paramuriceinae]DB07
                                                |       |--ParamuriceaBP14
                                                |       |    |--P. grandis (Verrill 1883)MG-H11
                                                |       |    `--P. spinosaH04
                                                |       `--Thesea Duchassaing & Michelotti 1860S78
                                                |            |--T. citrina Deichmann 1936S78
                                                |            |--T. parviflora Deichmann 1936S78
                                                |            `--T. rugosa Deichmann 1936S78
                                                `--AcanthogorgiidaeG76
                                                     |--MuricellaMG-H11
                                                     |--Versluysia ramosa (Thomson & Henderson 1906)MG-H11
                                                     |--AnthogorgiaDB07
                                                     `--AcanthogorgiaBP14
                                                          |--A. asperaBP14
                                                          |--A. breviflora Whitelegge 1897 (see below for synonymy)G76
                                                          `--A. longifloraH04

Acanthogorgia breviflora Whitelegge 1897 [incl. A. australiensis Hentschel 1903]G76

*Type species of generic name indicated

References

[A99] Ausich, W. I. 1999. Origin of crinoids. In: Candia Carnevali, M. D., & F. Bonasoro (eds) Echinoderm Research 1998 pp. 237–242. A. A. Balkema: Rotterdam.

[BP14] Bryce, M., & A. Poliseno. 2014. Two new records of octocorals (Anthozoa, Octocorallia) from north-west Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 29 (2): 159–168.

[CV16] Cannon, J. T., B. C. Vellutini, J. Smith, III, F. Ronquist, U. Jondelius & A. Hejnol. 2016. Xenacoelomorpha is the sister group to Nephrozoa. Nature 530: 89–93.

[C-SC03] Cavalier-Smith, T., & E. E.-Y. Chao. 2003. Phylogeny of Choanozoa, Apusozoa, and other Protozoa and early eukaryote megaevolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution 56: 540–563.

[DB07] Daly, M., M. R. Brugler, P. Cartwright, A. G. Collins, M. N. Dawson, D. G. Fautin, S. C. France, C. S. McFadden, D. M. Opresko, E. Rodriguez, S. L. Romano & J. L. Stake. 2007. The phylum Cnidaria: a review of phylogenetic patterns and diversity 300 years after Linnaeus. Zootaxa 1668: 127–182.

[D10] Dautova, T. N. 2010. Cnidaria diversity in the northwest Pacific: pathways of the dispersal. In: China-Russia Bilateral Symposium: Proceedings of the China-Russia Bilateral Symposium of “Comparison on Marine Biodiversity in the Northwest Pacific Ocean”, 10–11 October 2010, Qingdao (China) pp. 82–87. Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; A. V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

[EL11] Erwin, D. H., M. Laflamme, S. M. Tweedt, E. A. Sperling, D. Pisani & K. J. Peterson. 2011. The Cambrian conundrum: early divergence and later ecological success in the early history of animals. Science 334: 1091–1097.

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[G76] Grasshoff, M. 1976. Gorgonaria aus den Riffen von Eilat, Rotes Meer (Cnidaria: Anthozoa). Senckenbergiana Biologica 57 (1–3): 155–165.

[G66] Gray, J. E. 1866. Description of two new forms of gorgonioid corals. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 24–27.

[H04] Haeckel, E. 1899–1904. Kunstformen der Natur. Bibliographisches Institut: Leipzig und Wien.

[H15] Hedley, C. 1915. Presidential address. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 49 (1): 1–77, pls 1–7.

[H94] Humes, A. G. 1994. Two species of Paramolgus (Copepoda: Poecilostomatoida: Lichomolgidae) associated with the scleractinian Pavona in New Caledonia with a key to the females of Paramolgus. Beaufortia 44 (1): 1–9.

[KG03] Kingsley, R. J., R. van Gilder, R. Z. LeGros & N. Watabe. 2003. Multimineral calcareous deposits in the marine alga Acetabularia acetabulum (Chlorophyta; Dasycladaceae). Journal of Phycology 39: 937–947.

[LO02] Lang, B. F., C. O’Kelly, T. Nerad, M. W. Gray & G. Burger. 2002. The closest unicellular relatives of animals. Current Biology 12: 1773–1778.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[MG-H11] McEnnulty, F. R., K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, A. Williams, F. Althaus, J. Fromont, G. C. B. Poore, T. D. O’Hara, L. Marsh, P. Kott, S. Slack-Smith, P. Alderslade & M. V. Kitahara. 2011. The deepwater megabenthic invertebrates on the western continental margin of Australia (100–1100 m depths): composition, distribution and novelty. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 80: 1–191.

[M09] McKinney, D. 2009. A survey of the scleractinian corals at Mermaid, Scott, and Seringapatam Reefs, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 77: 105–143.

[NS93] Nudds, J. R., & J. J. Sepkoski Jr. 1993. Coelenterata. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 101–124. Chapman & Hall: London.

[OHO04] Ocaña, O., J. C. den Hartog & L. P. van Ofwegen. 2004. Ring sea anemones, an overview (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Actiniaria). Graellsia 60 (2): 143–154.

[PP64] Peres, J. M., & J. Picard. 1964. Nouveau manuel de bionomie benthique de la mer Mediterranee. Recueil des Travaux de la Station Marine d’Endoume, Bulletin 31 (27): 5–137.

[PP15] Pisani, D., W. Pett, M. Dohrmann, R. Feuda, O. Rota-Stabelli, H. Philippe, N. Lartillot & G. Wörheide. 2015. Genomic data do not support comb jellies as the sister group to all other animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 112 (50): 15402–15407.

[R26] Risso, A. 1826. Histoire naturelle des principales productions de l’Europe méridionale et particulièrement de celles des environs de Nice et des Alpes maritimes vol. 5. F.-G. Levrault: Paris.

[RB14] Rodríguez, E., M. S. Barbeitos, M. R. Brugler, L. M. Crowley, A. Grajales, L. Gusmão, V. Häussermann, A. Reft & M. Daly. 2014. Hidden among sea anemones: the first comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of the order Actiniaria (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Hexacorallia) reveals a novel group of hexacorals. PLoS One 9 (5): e96998.

[R22] Runnegar, B. 2022. Following the logic behind biological interpretations of the Ediacaran biotas. Geological Magazine 159 (7): 1093–1117.

[R79] Ryland, J. S. 1979. Structural and physiological aspects of coloniality in bryozoans. In: Larwood, G., & B. R. Rosen (eds) Biology and Systematics of Colonial Organisms pp. 211–242. Academic Press: London.

[SM78] Sprinkle, J., & R. C. Moore. 1978. Echmatocrinea. In: Moore, R. C., & C. Teichert (eds) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt T. Echinodermata 2. Crinoidea vol. 2 pp. T405–T407. The Geological Society of America, Inc.: Boulder (Colorado), and The University of Kansas: Lawrence (Kansas).

[S78] Stock, J. H. 1978. Magnippe caputmedusae n. gen., n. sp. (Copepoda: Lamippidae), a highly transformed endoparasite in octocorals of the genus Thesea from the Gulf of Mexico. Memoirs of the Hourglass Cruises 3 (5): 1–11.

[T87] Trench, R. K. 1987. Dinoflagellates in non-parasitic symbioses. In: Taylor, F. J. R. (ed.) The Biology of Dinoflagellates pp. 530–570. Blackwell Scientific.

[VMK09] Villarreal Manzanilla, O., & A. B. Kury. 2009. A new generic homonym in the Agoristenidae (Arachnida: Opiliones). Zootaxa 2045: 65–68.

[WG71] Wilson, B. R., & K. Gillett. 1971. Australian Shells: illustrating and describing 600 species of marine gastropods found in Australian waters. A. H. & A. W. Reed: Sydney.

[W87] Withers, N. 1987. Dinoflagellate sterols. In: Taylor, F. J. R. (ed.) The Biology of Dinoflagellates pp. 316–359. Blackwell Scientific.

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