Soft tree coral Nephthea sp., copyright Nick Hobgood.

Belongs within: Octocorallia.

The Alcyoniina, soft corals, are commonly recognised as a group of octocorals in which the colonial polyps are united within a fleshy mass of coenenchyme, without a central skeletal axis (Daly et al. 2007), though the monophyly of this group is uncertain.

<==Alcyoniina [Alcyonaria] DB07
    |--Alcyoniidae MG-H11
    |    |--Anthomastus MG-H11
    |    |--Eleutherobia MG-H11
    |    |--Inflatocalyx MG-H11
    |    `--Alcyonium C-SC03
    |         |--A. digitatum S79
    |         |--A. gracillimum C-SC03
    |         |--A. legitimum H94
    |         `--A. simplex H94
    |--Chironephthya MG-H11 [Nidaliidae DB07]
    |    `--C. dipsacea Wright & Stüder 1889 MG-H11
    |--Paralcyoniidae DB07
    |    |--Studeriotes MG-H11
    |    |--Paralcyonium DB07
    |    |--Ceeceenus DB07
    |    `--Maasella DB07
    |--Anthelia [Xeniidae] DB07
    `--Nephtheidae MG-H11
         |--Chromonephthea MG-H11
         |--Dendronephthya sinaiensis RB14
         |--Drifa MG-H11
         |--Stereonephthya MG-H11
         |--Umbellulifera MG-H11
         |--Scleronephthya MG-H11
         |    |--S. gracillima (Kuekenthal 1906) MG-H11
         |    `--S. indica (Thomson & Henderson 1906) MG-H11
         `--Nephthea H94
              |--N. albida H94
              |--N. chabrolii H94
              |--N. cupressiformis H94
              |--N. galbuloides H94
              `--N. sphaerophora H94

Alcyoniina incertae sedis:
  Leioptilus fimbriatus C-SC03
  Leptogorgia virgulata KG03
  Lobophytum H94
    |--L. crassum H94
    |--L. crebriplicatum H94
    |--L. cristagalli H94
    |--L. latilobatum H94
    `--L. pauciflorum Ehrenberg 1833 WG71
  Sarcophyton H94
    |--S. acutangulum H94
    |--S. elegans H94
    |--S. glaucum LO02
    |--S. stolidotum H94
    `--S. trocheliophorum Marenzeller 1886 WG71
  Cespitularia multipinnata H94
  Litophyton H94
    |--L. acutifolium H94
    `--L. stuhlmanni H94
  Heteroxenia H94
  Sinularia dura H94
  Paralemnalia thyrsoides H94
  Parerythropodium fulvum H94

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C-SC03] Cavalier-Smith, T., & E. E.-Y. Chao. 2003. Phylogeny of Choanozoa, Apusozoa, and other Protozoa and early eukaryote megaevolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution 56: 540–563.

[DB07] Daly, M., M. R. Brugler, P. Cartwright, A. G. Collins, M. N. Dawson, D. G. Fautin, S. C. France, C. S. McFadden, D. M. Opresko, E. Rodriguez, S. L. Romano & J. L. Stake. 2007. The phylum Cnidaria: a review of phylogenetic patterns and diversity 300 years after Linnaeus. Zootaxa 1668: 127–182.

[H94] Humes, A. G. 1994. Two species of Paramolgus (Copepoda: Poecilostomatoida: Lichomolgidae) associated with the scleractinian Pavona in New Caledonia with a key to the females of Paramolgus. Beaufortia 44 (1): 1–9.

[KG03] Kingsley, R. J., R. van Gilder, R. Z. LeGros & N. Watabe. 2003. Multimineral calcareous deposits in the marine alga Acetabularia acetabulum (Chlorophyta; Dasycladaceae). Journal of Phycology 39: 937–947.

[LO02] Lang, B. F., C. O’Kelly, T. Nerad, M. W. Gray & G. Burger. 2002. The closest unicellular relatives of animals. Current Biology 12: 1773–1778.

[MG-H11] McEnnulty, F. R., K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, A. Williams, F. Althaus, J. Fromont, G. C. B. Poore, T. D. O'Hara, L. Marsh, P. Kott, S. Slack-Smith, P. Alderslade & M. V. Kitahara. 2011. The deepwater megabenthic invertebrates on the western continental margin of Australia (100–1100 m depths): composition, distribution and novelty. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 80: 1–191.

[RB14] Rodríguez, E., M. S. Barbeitos, M. R. Brugler, L. M. Crowley, A. Grajales, L. Gusmão, V. Häussermann, A. Reft & M. Daly. 2014. Hidden among sea anemones: the first comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of the order Actiniaria (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Hexacorallia) reveals a novel group of hexacorals. PLoS One 9 (5): e96998.

[S79] Shelton, G. A. B. 1979. Co-ordination of behaviour in cnidarian colonies. In: Larwood, G., & B. R. Rosen (eds) Biology and Systematics of Colonial Organisms pp. 141–154. Academic Press: London.

[WG71] Wilson, B. R., & K. Gillett. 1971. Australian Shells: illustrating and describing 600 species of marine gastropods found in Australian waters. A. H. & A. W. Reed: Sydney.

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