Phylogenetic position and taxonomy of Cycloseris explanulata and C. wellsi (Scleractinia: Fungiidae): Lost mushroom corals find their way home

Francesca Benzoni, Roberto Arrigoni, Fabrizio Stefani, Bastian T. Reijnen, Simone Montano, Bert W. Hoeksema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

The scleractinian species Psammocora explanulata and Coscinaraea wellsi were originally classified in the family Siderastreidae, but in a recent morpho-molecular study it appeared that they are more closely related to each other and to the Fungiidae than to any siderastreid taxon. A subsequent morpho-molecular study of the Fungiidae provided new insights regarding the phylogenetic relationships within that family. In the present study existing molecular data sets of both families were analyzed jointly with those of new specimens and sequences of P. explanulata and C. wellsi. The results indicate that both species actually belong to the Cycloseris clade within the family Fungiidae. A reappraisal of their morphologic characters based on museum specimens and recently collected material substantiate the molecular results. Consequently, they are renamed Cycloseris explanulata and C. wellsi. They are polystomatous and encrusting like C. mokai, another species recently added to the genus, whereas all Cycloseris species were initially thought to be monostomatous and free-living. In the light of the new findings, the taxonomy and distribution data of C. explanulata and C. wellsi have been updated and revised. Finally, the ecological implications of the evolutionary history of the three encrusting polystomatous Cycloseris species and their free-living monostomatous congeners are discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-146
Number of pages22
JournalContributions to Zoology
Volume81
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 19 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Phylogenetic position and taxonomy of Cycloseris explanulata and C. wellsi (Scleractinia: Fungiidae): Lost mushroom corals find their way home'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this