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.
- All the four groups of corals are from the same family, Flabellidae.
- Truncatoflabellum crassum (Milne Edwards and Haime, 1848), T. incrustatum (Cairns, 1989), T. aculeatum (Milne Edwards and Haime, 1848), and T. irregulare (Semper, 1872) under the family Flabellidae were previously found in Japan, the Philippines and Australian waters, while only T. crassum was reported with the range of Indo-West Pacific distribution.
- 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.
- Azooxanthellate corals are a group of hard corals. Hard corals are the prime and intrinsic part of the coral reef ecosystem.