[Coral-List] Possible new invasives on Curacao?

Walter Goldberg goldberg at fiu.edu
Thu Apr 27 15:00:39 EDT 2017

Mark, The octocoral appears to be Stereonepthya portoricensis, formerly Spongodes (Neospongodes) portoricensis Hargitt, 1901. It is not possible to ID from photos alone, but the specimen looks suspiciously like the ones I saw in caves and overhangs at 40 m on Cay Sal Bank back in the 1980s. Paul Humann has a picture of it in his Reef Coral ID book.  Bayer’s octocoral manual (1961) says the distribution is from the Straits of Fl to Barbados 75 m deep or more. Sclerites are figured in http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0717-71782006000200008
 from a specimen taken in Venezuelan waters at a depth of 85 m.
Walter  Goldberg
Professor Emeritus
Florida International University
Miami, FL

On Apr 25, 2017, at 2:04 PM, Mark Vermeij <carmabilog at gmail.com<mailto:carmabilog at gmail.com>> wrote:

Dear all

Recently certain alcyonids and tunicates were spotted in relative large
numbers on the floats of a large work platform. No one here on Curacao
remembers ever seeing these organisms, nor can they be found in local ID
guides. Does anyone recognize these species and can confirm they are
Caribbean or from elsewhere? Please send responses to carmabilog at gmail.com<mailto:carmabilog at gmail.com>

See following link for pictures:


tropical regards

Mark Vermeij
Dr. M.J.A. Vermeij

Science Director Carmabi Foundation
Piscaderabaai z/n, Willemstad, Cura?ao

Associate professor
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
University of Amsterdam
Science Park 700, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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