Four new corals recorded from Indian waters

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Four new corals recorded from Indian waters

  • Scientists have recorded four species of corals for the first time from Indian waters.
  • These new species of azooxanthellate corals were found from the waters off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

What are Azooxanthellate Corals?

  • The azooxanthellate corals are a group of corals that do not contain zooxanthellae and derive nourishment not from the sun but from capturing different forms of planktons.
  • They are deep-sea representatives with the majority of species being reported from depths between 200 metres and 1,000 metres.
  • They are also reported from shallow waters unlike zooxanthellate corals that are restricted to shallow waters.

Which are the new species found?

  • Truncatoflabellum crassum, T. incrustatum, T. aculeatum, and T. irregulare under the family Flabellidae were previously found in Japan, the Philippines and Australian waters.
  • Only T. crassum was reported within the range of Indo-West Pacific distribution.

Significance of the discovery

  • Most studies of hard corals in India have been concentrated on reef-building corals while much is not known about non-reef-building corals.
  • These new species enhance our knowledge about non-reef-building solitary corals.

Prelims Takeaway

  • Coral reefs