Skip to main content

Open Access Cryptic Species Within the Atlantic-Caribbean Genus Meandrina (Scleractinia): A Multidisciplinary Approach and Description of the New Species Meandrina jacksoni

Download Article:
(PDF 42,472.2 kb)


The scleractinian genus Meandrina is unique to the western Atlantic. Species diversity has varied from 12 to two currently recognized taxa, the Caribbean Meandrina meandrites (Linnaeus, 1758) and Meandrina brasiliensis (Milne-Edwards and Haime, 1848), endemic to Brazil. A second Caribbean species, Meandrina danae (Milne-Edwards and Haime, 1848), has been considered a synonym of M. brasiliensis or an ecomorph of M. meandrites. Field observations, examination of specimens, and a literature review indicated the presence of a third, morphologically different Caribbean species. A multi-variable approach, with morphometric, reproductive, and ecological information, was used to clarify the status of M. danae and test the validity of the unrecognized morphology. Three colony-level characters were measured in 779 specimens of M. meandrites, 760 M. danae, and 320 of the cryptic morph (Meandrina sp.) from Puerto Rico. Thirteen calice-level characters were assessed in 45 M. meandrites, 46 M. danae, 32 Meandrina sp., and 98 specimens of all taxa, including M. brasiliensis, from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Sexual reproductive patterns and modes of development were assessed monthly from at least five colonies of M. meandrites (n = 97), M. danae (n = 138), and Meandrina sp. (n = 99). Results showed consistent and significant differences among characters supporting the separation of three Caribbean species of Meandrina, the common massive, sub-massive, and crustose M. meandrites, the small, free-living M. danae, and a new species, Meandrina jacksoni sp. nov., characterized by small, platy, and mostly pale, medium-to-large crustose, and sub-massive colonies with low ridges, short septa, and wide valleys.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more