A comparison of the stoloniferous octocorallian genera Scyphopodium, Stereotelesto, Bathytelesto and Rhodelinda, with the description of a new species from south eastern Africa (Anthozoa, Chavulariidae)



A new species of stoloniferous octocoral assignable to the genus Bathytelesto Bayer, 1981 is described from the Indian Ocean coast of southern Africa. The new taxon represents the fifth described species of the family Clavulariidae with rigid cylindrical or tubular anthosteles composed of inseparably-fused sclerites. Four genera are currenly in use to accommodate these species. However, only one of these (Scyphopodium) seems to be morphologically well differentiated from the rest. The other three (Stereotelesto, Bathytelesto and Rhodelinda) are here considered as nominal at present until more material representing all of the taxa can be accumulated and a detailed comparative examination made. Of these four genera, the new species is morphologically most closely aligned with the genus Bathytelesto.