First record of black corals (Antipatharia) in shallow coastal waters of northern Chile by means of underwater video
Easton, Erin E.
This record is the first report of black corals (Antipatharia) in shallow waters of the continental coast of Chile, and extends their geographical range in shallow waters of the upper continental shelf of South America by ~3000 km from Ecuador (~1°S) to Coquimbo, Chile (~29°S). Specimens were observed between 70 and 107 m on three underwater video transects executed in July 2016 on the rocky reef El Toro, which is located about 65 km northwest of Coquimbo. The images were taken with the cameras of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at a distance of about two meters from the rocks. Although the image resolution does not allow an exact identification of the species, the multi-branched corals were distinguished from other cnidarians as Antipatharia by the dark color of the stem.