Report of a Zoanthus Zone from the Cabo Verde Islands (Central Eastern Atlantic)

  • Cataixa LópezEmail author
  • Rui Freitas
  • Edita Magileviciute
  • Sara S. Ratão
  • Patrice Brehmer
  • James D. Reimer


Zoanthus is a genus of colonial cnidarians very common in shallow subtropical and tropical rocky and coral reef ecosystems around the world. Some species, such as Zoanthus solanderi and Z. sociatus, can coexist and cover extensive areas in the subtidal zone of some areas in the Caribbean. We report on a ‘Zoanthus zone’ in Western Africa in a bay in the north of Maio Island in the Cabo Verde Archipelago, discovered in October 2014. Molecular analyses showed that the Maio Island carpet is formed by Z. sociatus and Z. solanderi. Similar aggregations have been reported from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the Caribbean. This work demonstrates the presence of the ‘Zoanthus zone’ in the Central East Atlantic and adds two new records of Zoanthus species in the Cabo Verde Islands.


Marine biodiversity Maio Island Molecular analyses West Africa Zoanthus sociatus Zoanthus solanderi 



We thank the University of Cabo Verde for support in the prospecting survey and Nivaldo Ramos (FMB) for local assistance and field equipment. We are thankful the FMB local NGO for providing the opportunity to undertake this study. We are indebted to Mariano Hernández for his kindly help in primers designs and Carlos M. L. Afonso (UAlg, CCMar) for shared information on Zoanthus colonies. The Agencia Canaria de Investigación, Innovación y Sociedad de la Información de la Consejería de Economía, Industria, Comercio y Conocimiento (ACIISI) and Fondo Social Europeo (FSE) Programa Operativo Integrado de Canarias 2014-2020, Eje 3 Tema Prioritario 74 (85%) supported CL’s internship in Okinawa, Japan where analyses were carried out. We thank Martyn E.Y. Low (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature) for help with nomenclatural issues. The senior author was supported by JSPS Kiban B grant entitled “Global evolution of Brachycnemina and their Symbiodinium”. This work was also supported by the AWA project funded by IRD and the BMBF (grant 01DG12073E).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biología Animal, Edafología y Geología, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de La Laguna (ULL)San Cristóbal de La LagunaSpain
  2. 2.Molecular Invertebrate Systematics and Ecology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Marine Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of the RyukyusOkinawaJapan
  3. 3.Faculdade de Engenharias e Ciências do MarUniversidade de Cabo Verde (Uni-CV)MindeloCape Verde
  4. 4.ECOCV, Associação Cabo-Verdiana de EcoturismoSantiago IslandCape Verde
  5. 5.Fundação Maio Biodiversidade (FMB)Maio IslandCape Verde
  6. 6.Institut de recherche pour le developpement (IRD-France)UMR 195 LemarDakarSenegal
  7. 7.Tropical Biosphere Research CenterUniversity of the RyukyusOkinawaJapan

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