Blastomussa loyae Head, 1978

Benzoni, Francesca, Arrigoni, Roberto, Waheed, Zarinah, Stefani, Fabrizio & Hoeksema, Bert W., 2014, Phylogenetic relationships and revision of the genus Blastomussa (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia) with description of a new species, Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 62, pp. 358-378: 363

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Blastomussa loyae Head, 1978


Blastomussa loyae Head, 1978  

( Figs. 1G–I View Fig , 6C–F View Fig , 7B View Fig , 8B View Fig , 9B View Fig )

Blastomussa sp.   Loya & Slobodkin, 1971 Blastomussa (Ceriomorpha) loyae Head, 1978   : fig. 1 c–d Blastomussa loyae   — Scheer & Pillai, 1983: Pl. 35 figs. 9–11;

Kleemann & Baal, 2011: figs. 1–4 Blastomussa merleti sensu Sheppard & Sheppard, 1991   , fig. 113c Parasimplastrea sheppardi Veron 2002   partim: Figs. 308 and 310 Not Parasimplastrea sheppardi Veron, 2000   : Volume 3 p. 239;

Veron 2002: figs. 309, 311

Type material. Holotype ( BMNH 1977.5.5.1), Sudan, coll. S. Head, 5 m.   Paratypes ( BMNH 1977.5.5.2, 1977.5.5.3)   , Sudan, coll. S. Head; ( ZMA Coel. 8322), Port   Sudan, Sudan, coll. S. Head ( Figs. 6E, F View Fig )   .

Other material. Egypt ( MTQ G 55860 View Materials ), Sharm el Sheikh, 15 m (neotype of Parasimplastrea sheppardi Veron, 2000   designated herein ( Figs. 6C, D View Fig ); ( MTQ G 70484 View Materials )   , Sinai, coll. J.E.N. Veron; ( MTQ G 70484 View Materials )   , Sinai, coll. J.E.N. Veron; Saudi Arabia ( BMNH unregistered), Jeddah , coll. C. Sheppard, October 1984; ( KAUST SA005)   , Al Lith, Whale Shark Reef , (20°07.690'N; 40°12.513'E), coll. F. Benzoni, 2 March 2012 GoogleMaps   , 20 m; ( KAUST SA009), Al Lith, Shi’b Ammar , (19°34.242'N; 40°00.527'E) coll. F. Benzoni, 3 March 2013; ( KAUST SA197) GoogleMaps   , Farasan Banks, Marka Island , (18°12.534'N; 41°20.073'E) coll. F. Benzoni, 7 March 2013; ( KAUST SA237) GoogleMaps   , Farasan Banks, Shi’b Radib , (18°04.385'N; 40°53.154'E), coll. F. Benzoni, 8 March 2013 GoogleMaps   ; Djibouti TOE, coll. F. Benzoni ( UNIMIB DJ018), North Gulf of Tadjoura, Ras Ali , (11°46.354'N; 42°57.286'E), 28 January 2010 GoogleMaps   , 10 m; ( UNIMIB DJ050), North Gulf of Tadjoura, Oblal , (11°51.680'N; 43°6.480'E), 28 January 2010 GoogleMaps   , 8 m; ( UNIMIB DJ150), Maskali Island , (11°42.349'N; 43°9.177'E), 31 January 2010 GoogleMaps   , 12 m; ( UNIMIB DJ197), Ankali , (11°43.590'N; 43 19.590'E), 2 February 2010 GoogleMaps   , 18 m; ( UNIMIB DJ242), North Gulf of Tadjoura, Obock, (11°57.517'N; 43°18.787'E), 3 February 2010 GoogleMaps   .

Description. Blastomussa loyae   forms encrusting coralla. Budding extra-tentacular, corallites attain a cerioid or subcerioid arrangement ( Figs. 1G–I View Fig , 6C–F View Fig , 7B View Fig ) by lack of separation of calices following the budding process, and, by secondary fusion, respectively, as described in detail by Head (1978). Corallites are round to oval and 5–8 mm in largest diameter ( Figs. 1G–I View Fig , 6C–F View Fig ). Three cycles of septa are present, the first two reach the columella and are equal or sub-equal as the first can be slightly thicker, the third is reduced or incomplete ( Figs. 1G, I View Fig , 6D, F View Fig ). Septa are composed of one fan system thus margins are smooth ( Figs. 1H–I View Fig , 6D View Fig ) ( Kleemann & Baal, 2011). Occasionally, in larger calices more than one fan system can develop ( Head, 1978). Septa typically exsert from the colony surface ( Figs. 1H View Fig , 6D View Fig ). Septal margins and sides finely granulated ( Figs. 1H, I View Fig ). Columella formed by trabecular processes, often fused at the base ( Figs. 6F View Fig , 7B View Fig ), with papillae visible at the centre and variably developed with the same corallum. In several of the examined specimens septa of the first and second cycle appear to be hollow ( Fig. 7B View Fig ).

Polyp tentacles retracted towards the oral disc during the day when the mantle is expanded ( Figs. 8B View Fig , 9B View Fig ). Because the cerioid corallites are close together, the mantle of adjacent polyps touch and become polygonal, giving the coral an overall plocoid appearance, which disappears as mantles retract ( Fig. 8B View Fig ). Vesicles smooth to slightly rugged ( Fig. 9B View Fig ). Colour varying from light to dark green, with vesicles often of a different colour, ranging from beige to brown.

This species lives in protected environments and strives well in low light and high-turbidity conditions.

Taxonomic remarks. Veron (2002) designated a coral from Egypt (Red Sea) (MTQ G 55860 View Materials ) as “ holotype ” for Parasimplastrea sheppardi   ( Fig. 6C, D View Fig ). This designation is invalid because a holotype should have been introduced with the original description ( ICZN, 2011). Therefore, this specimen is presently designated neotype of P. sheppardi   , but because it belongs to Blastomussa loyae Head, 1978   , P. sheppardi   is a subjective junior synonym of the species.

Geographic distribution. Blastomussa loyae   has been recorded in the Red Sea. Based on the material examined in the present study, the know range has been extended to the Gulf of Tadjoura.


Universiteit van Amsterdam, Zoologisch Museum












Blastomussa loyae Head, 1978

Benzoni, Francesca, Arrigoni, Roberto, Waheed, Zarinah, Stefani, Fabrizio & Hoeksema, Bert W. 2014


Veron 2002


Veron 2000

Blastomussa merleti

sensu Sheppard & Sheppard 1991

Blastomussa (Ceriomorpha) loyae Head, 1978

, Head 1978

Blastomussa loyae

, Head 1978