New poritid coral genus named

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Scientists from Oman have discovered a new genus and species of SPS coral from the Gulf of Oman.

Calathiscus tantillus is a member of the family Poritidae, which includes Porites and other zooxanthellate genera.

Colonies of C. tantillus remain very small at under 4cm, but the growth form is massive.

Michael Claereboudt and Issa Al Amri of Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, say that the new species sits somewhere between Porites and Goniopora: " The polyps, fully extended during the day in most specimens, have a long tubular column topped by a wide conical oral disc surrounded by 15-22 tentacles. "

For more details see: Claereboudt, M. and Al Amri, I. (2004) - Calathiscus tantillus, a new genus and new species of scleractinian coral (Scleractinia, Poritidae) from the Gulf of Oman. Zootaxa 532: 1-8 (2004)