Novel species discovery

One of the most exciting results of Project Phoenix to date is the number of new species we are finding even in well sampled locations such as the Great Barrier Reef. We estimate that the number of new species combined with the high number of nominal species that need to be resurrected from synonym will result in a 5-fold increase in the species richness of the genus Acropora when compared to the last taxonomic revision.

Our species discovery efforts are focused in areas that have yet to be sampled very intensively, such as the Malaysian and Indonesian Coral Triangle, the Philippines and the western Indian Ocean.

Here are a few recent novel species descriptions in peer-reviewed journals:

Morphological and molecular description of a new genus and species of black coral (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Antipatharia: Antipathidae: Blastopathes) from Papua New Guinea
Horowitz, J., Brugler, M.R., Bridge, T.C.L., Cowman, P.F. Zootaxa 4821 (3): 553–569 (2020)

Morphology and molecules reveal two new species of Porites (Scleractinia, Poritidae) from the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden
Terraneo, T.I., Benzoni, F., Baird, A.H. et al. Systematics and Biodiversity 17(5):491-508 (2019)

Cyphastrea salae, a new species of hard coral from Lord Howe Island, Australia (Scleractinia, Merulinidae)
Baird, A.H., Hoogenboom, M.O., Huang, D. ZooKeys 662:49-66 (2017)