[Coral-List] Scleractinian Systematics Working Group Meeting

Michel Pichon michel.pichon at bigpond.com
Wed Jul 25 20:27:35 EDT 2012

Dear List,

Following its recent meeting, immediately prior to the 12th ICRS, The
Scleractinian Systematics Working Group  has released the following
statement :

"The Scleractinian Systematics Working Group, having met at the Museum of
Tropical Queensland, Townsville, 6-8 July 2012, reiterates its commitment to
improving scleractinian coral taxonomy through collaborations across
disciplines. Our aim is to provide rigorous characterization of the taxa to
be used in ecological studies and for improved management of coral reef
The Scleractinian Systematics Working Group draws the attention of all
stakeholders to the following :

*	After ten years of development, the molecular phylogenetic tree of
Scleractinia is now almost stable
*	Because  new findings confirm that the best match for the molecular
tree is at a micro level, characterization of taxa should no longer be based
on macromorphology alone
*	Names of higher taxa of Scleractinia are changing, with the first of
a major series of revisionary monographs being now in press
*	Paleontological and Palaeogeographical data, now available, provide
complementary lineage information essential to resolving the phylogeny of
*	Presently there are still significant limitations to accurate field
identification of coral species. 

(Released 10th July 2012 by: R. Arrigoni, F. Benzoni, A. Chen, Z. Dinesen,
H. Fukami, B. Hoeksema, D. Huang, K. Johnson, Y. Kitano, B. Lathuiliere, D.
Luck, F. Nunes, M. Pichon, N. Santodomingo, S. Schmidt-Roach, J. Stolarski,
H. Tachikawa, C. Wallace on behalf of the Scleractinian Systematics Working
Please note that recent advances in scleractinian coral taxonomy can be
found inter alia in the following selection of collaborative  papers
published since 2009 :

1	Arrigoni R, Benzoni F, Stefani F, Pichon M. Galli P. 2012. Molecular
phylogeny of the Robust Clade (Faviidae, Mussidae and Pectiniidae): An
Indian Ocean perspective. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
2	Barbeitos MS, Romano SL, Lasker HR. 2010. Repeated loss of
coloniality and symbiosis in scleractinian corals. Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences 107: 11877-11882.
3	Benzoni F, Arrigoni R, Stefani F, Pichon M. 2011. Phylogeny of the
coral genus Plesiastrea (Cnidaria, Scleractinia). Contributions to Zoology
80, 231-249.
4	Benzoni F, Arrigoni R, Stefani F, Reijnen BT, Montano S, Hoeksema
BW. 2012. Phylogenetic position and taxonomy of Cycloseris explanulata and
C. wellsi (Scleractinia: Fungiidae): lost mushroom corals find their way
home. Contribution to Zoology 81: 125-146.
5	Benzoni F, Stefani F. Porites fontanesii, a new species of hard
coral (Scleractinia, Poritidae) from the southern Red Sea, the Gulf of
Tadjoura and the Gulf of Aden. Zootaxa (accepted)

6	Benzoni F, Stefani F, Pichon M, Galli P. 2010. The name game:
Morpho-molecular species boundaries in the genus Psammocora (Cnidaria,
Scleractinia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 160: 421-456.
7	Budd AF, Stolarski J. 2009. Searching for new morphological
characters in the systematics of scleractinian reef corals: comparison of
septal teeth and granules between Atlantic and Pacific Mussidae. Acta
Zoologica 90: 142-165. 

8	Budd AF, Stolarski J. 2011. Corallite Wall and Septal Microstructure
in Scleractinian Reef Corals: Comparison of Molecular Clades within the
Family Faviidae. Journal of Morphology 272:66-88.
9	Budd AF, Romano SL, Smith ND, Barbeitos MS. 2010. Rethinking the
phylogeny of scleractinian corals: a review of morphological and molecular
data. Integrative and Comparative Biology 50: 411-427.
10	Budd, A.F., Fukami, H., Smith, N.D. & Knowlton N. Taxonomic
classification of the reef coral family Mussidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa:
Scleractinia Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (In press).
11	 Gittenberger A, Reijnen BT, Hoeksema BW. 2011. A molecularly based
phylogeny reconstruction of mushroom corals (Scleractinia: Fungiidae) with
taxonomic consequences and evolutionary implications for life history
traits. Contributions to Zoology 80: 107-132.
12	Huang D, Meier R, Todd PA, Chou LM. 2009. More evidence for
pervasive paraphyly in scleractinian corals: systematic study of Southeast
Asian Faviidae (Cnidaria; Scleractinia) based on molecular and morphological
data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 50: 102-116.

13	Huang D, Licuanan WY, Baird AH, Fukami H. 2011. Cleaning up the
'Bigmessidae': Molecular phylogeny of scleractinian corals from Faviidae,
Merulinidae, Pectiniidae and Trachyphylliidae BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:
37 (13pp). 

14	Kitahara MV, Cairns SD, Stolarski J, Blair D, Miller DJ. 2010. A
comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Scleractinia (Cnidaria, Anthozoa)
based on mitochondrial CO1 sequence data. PLoS ONE 5: e11490.

15	Kitahara MV, Stolarski J, Miller DJ, Benzoni F, Stake J, Cairns S
2012. The first modern solitary Agariciidae (Anthozoa, Scleractinia)
revealed by molecular and microstructural analysis. Invertebrate Systematics

16  Lin MF, Kitahara MV, Tachikawa H, Fukami H, Miller DJ, Chen CA. 2012.
Novel organization of the mitochondrial genome in the deep-sea coral
madrepora oculata (Hexacorallia, Scleractinia, Oculinidae) and its
taxonomic implications. Molecular phylogeny and Evolution (In press).

17	Pichon M, Chuang YY., Chen, CA. 2012. Pseudosiderastrea formosa sp.
nov. (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia) a new coral species endemic to
Taiwan. Zoological Studies 51: 93-98.

18	Stefani F, Benzoni F, Sun Yin Y, Pichon M, Galli P, Chen CA. 2011.
Comparison of morphological and genetic analyses reveals cryptic divergences
and morphological plasticity in Stylophora (Cnidaria, Scleractinia) Coral
Reefs 30: 1033-1049.  

19	Stolarski J, Kitahara MV, Miller DJ, Cairns SD, Mazur M, Meibom A.
2011. The ancient evolutionary origins of Scleractinia revealed by
azooxanthellate corals BMC Evolutionary Biology 2011, 11:316.


 Michel Pichon & Carden Wallace

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