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Parerythropodium coralloides

(Pallas, 1766)

Vito Giannecchini Eunicella singularis, Leptogorgia sarmentosa e Parerythropodium coralloides Isola del Tino Portovenere

Joaquin Muñoz nice

Vito Giannecchini Gracias Joaquin!

Joaquin Muñoz :)

Giorgio Cavallaro http://www.uwphotographers.net/2013/09/uwp-vito-giannecchini.html

Vito Giannecchini Grazie Giorgio!

Message posted on UWphotographers on 19 Nov 2013
Vito Giannecchini Eunicella singularis, Leptogorgia sarmentosa e Parerythropodium coralloides Isola del Tino Portovenere

Stuart Pearce Very nice shot :)

Message posted on The Global Diving Community on 19 Nov 2013
Richard Yorke Seen in the Scilly Isles last May but looks like nothing I would have expected there, any ideas?

Tony Gilbert Think its Sarcodictyon sp., poss. roseum Richard.

Bernard Picton Hi Richard, definitely not Sarcodictyon. This is probably Parerythropodium coralloides, which is an exciting find for the UK, as it hasn't crossed the channel before. The only problem is that what the books call Parerythropodium coralloides is actually 3 or 4 species now. The pale pink one is Alcyonium hibernicum, (it's old name) and there are two other species on the French-Portuguese coasts. I'll post some pictures later.

Chris Wood We are revising the Seasearch Anemones and Corals Guide early in the new year and I would very much like this image to include as it seems to be a first. Richard could you send details and copy of the image at high resolution to chris@seasearch.org.uk Many thanks.

Bernard Picton I think this might be Cathy McFadden's Morphotype A2 of Alcyonium hibernicum. "Colonies of Morphotype A2 occurred at all Atlantic locations from Iles Chausey (CHA) southward, but were not found in the British Isles" "Type A2 colonies were generally red or very dark pink, with some yellow in the polyps (the "pink-4'' of Groot and Weinberg 1982). Coenenchymal sclerites were always red or a mixture of red and pink; tentacular sclerites were almost always yellow (occasionally red, and very rarely white), and sclerites in the polyps were usually red or pink, often mixed with yellow, especially in the proximal region" It might not have a name yet, but is almost certainly a distinct species.

Richard Yorke Thanks Bernard, it seems I was correct in thinking it was a bit different from the expected.

Bernard Picton I emailed Cathy and she had a recollection that someone else had also seen something like this in Scilly recently. She is going to check.

Susana Martins Probably the same... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4300650748368&set=o.341487989207852&type=1&theater

Richard Yorke Apparently Lin Baldock (who led the trip) contacted Cathy at the beginning of May about my picture so that we are probably talking about the same sighting.

Bernard Picton This is getting more tricky by the day! "Hi Bernard - Actually, no, it would be morph A1 (A. hibernicum), which comes in two different colors. The Irish version of A1 is usually a pale pink, but in France there are two color morphs of A1, the pale pink and a much darker pink. The A. coralloides (A2) that occurs in France is red with yellow sclerites in the polyps. For awhile we thought the dark pink A1 was possibly a hybrid between A1 and A2, but further genetic work showed that not to be the case (see another attached paper). Genetically, the light pink and dark pink forms of A1 are identical, and conform to A. hibernicum. The red A2 in France is A. coralloides. The earlier photos I got from the Scilly Isles looked more like dark pink A1 than like A2. Cheers, Cathy"

Richard Yorke As you say, trickier day by day! I am getting a bit out of my depth, but reading the Summary of general features the ones that seem to fit best are either A1 or A3 as it seems to be basically red and white, with hardly a hint of yellow, even if I play with the white balance. The lobate morphology and rock substrate would also fit but as A3 was only found in Portugal, and that seems a tremendous jump for it to make. I would agree that A1 seems the most likely. However it was not the typical UK Alcyonium hibernicum described on MarLIN as that is found only on shaded or overhanging rock surfaces and is pink. This was on a vertical surface with sun shining on it and definitely more of a red.

Bernard Picton There is something odd going on here, I've seen typical pale pink A. hibernicum in a lot of places, but never this one in the UK or Ireland. A. hibernicum has odd genetics, it seems to be not reproducing sexually, more parthenogenetically, so a clone. The starfish Asterina phylactica is supposed to be doing something similar. There is a theory that this is because they went through some sort of population bottleneck during the last ice age.

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 28 Sep 2012
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Cnidaria (Phylum)
    Anthozoa (Class)
      Octocorallia (Subclass)
        Alcyonacea (Order)
          Alcyoniina (Suborder)
            Alcyoniidae (Family)
              Parerythropodium (Genus)
                Parerythropodium coralloides (Species)
Associated Species