Four species of azooxanthellate corals have been recorded for the first time in Indian waters near Andaman and Nicobar Island by scientists. These species are Truncatoflabellum crassum, T. incrustatum, T. aculeatum, and T. irregulare.
Azooxanthellate corals are a group of corals which do not contain zooxanthellate- which is a unicellular, golden-brown algae. Azooxanthellate corals are found in usually dark habitats, especially in caverns.
The distribution of azooxanthellate is not just limited to the upper layer of the ocean but is also known to be found in tropical seas as well as polar seas and from intertidal zones to over depths of 6,328 metres.
What Did The Study Say
Thalassas: An International Journal of Marine Sciences carried out the study in the reef ecosystems of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and published their findings in a recent study.
In a report by NDTV, four species of azooxanthellate were reported from the shallow water region near Andaman and Nicobar Islands by the researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).
When studies were conducted on the scleractinian coral, they resulted in the documentation of around only 10 per cent of azooxanthellate corals in Indian waters as compared to zooxanthellate corals.
The study's authors said, "The four species named as Truncatoflabellum crassum, T. incrustatum, T. aculeatum, and T. irregulare under the family Flabelliiidae are recorded for the first time from India." They also said that all four species were previously recorded from Japan to the Philippines and Australian waters, while only T. crassum was reported within the range of Indo-West Pacific distribution, including the Gulf of Aden and the Persian Gulf.
A study conducted in 2016 by the researchers at the Institute for Environmental Research and Social Education, Tamil Nadu reported three species of azooxanthellate corals for the first time from around the rocky out-crops off Goa. The study noted that 227 species of azooxanthellate scleractinian corals belonging to 71 genera were reported from the Indian Ocean region.
Also Read: Manchester School Bans Students From Hugging As Part Of Their Zero-Tolerance Policy To Physical Contact