Alternate Title

Black Corals of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary


Black corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Antipatharia) of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) are described. A key to the species is provided and supplemented with in situ and laboratory photos. The microscopic skeletal features of the species are illustrated from photographs taken with a scanning electron microscope. Thirteen species of black corals are found in the FGBNMS, belonging to the families Antipathidae (Antipathes furcata Gray 1857; Antipathes atlantica Gray 1857, Stichopathes luetkeni Brook 1889; Stichopathes pourtalesi Brook 1889, and Stichopathes sp.); Aphanipathidae [Aphanipathes pedata (Gray 1857), Elatopathes abietina (Pourtalès 1874), Acanthopathes thyoides (Pourtalès 1880) and Phanopathes expansa (Opresko and Cairns 1992)]; and Myriopathidae [Plumapathes pennacea (Pallas 1766), Tanacetipathes tanacetum (Pourtalès 1880), Tanacetipathes hirta (Gray 1857), and Tanacetipathes cf. thamnea (Warner 1981)].