Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 19, 2017

The genus Ethelia (Etheliaceae, Rhodophyta) in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico in the western Atlantic

David L. Ballantine, Hector Ruíz, Chad Lozada-Troche and James N. Norris
From the journal Botanica Marina


Two new Ethelia (Etheliaceae, Rhodophyta) species are described from Puerto Rico and a third from the Bahamas. None were found at both locations. All three differ from previously described Ethelia species in possessing ventral rhizoids as well as possessing variably extensive ventral parenchymatous outgrowths. Ethelia crassa has been collected at a shallow-water, high wave energy site in southwestern Puerto Rico and at an exposed site at Mona Island. The species forms highly conspicuous orange encrustations that are thicker than any other Ethelia species. Etheliacrassa also possesses prominent mesothallial vein cells. A second Puerto Rican species, Ethelia magnieni, restricted to habitats greater than 60 m depth, also forms thick encrustations and is characterized by its very small cortical filaments, 3.0 μm in diameter. The third, Ethelia excrescens, is from deep-water Bahamian habitats and possesses dorsal surface projections as well as extensive parenchymatous ventral outgrowths. SSU DNA sequencing performed on E. magnieni and E. crassa confirmed their placement in the genus as well their status as independent species.


This study was partially funded by the Caribbean Marine Research Center of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration-National Undersea Research Program, which made ship time available aboard the R/V Bahama Hunter and dives using the research submersible DSV Nekton Gamma. We wish to express our appreciation to the submersible and tender crew, particularly Mr. Robert Wicklund Jr., Ray Brockway and Don and Sally Tondro, as well as to the administrative staff of Lee Stocking Island. We also thank Scott Whittaker, NMNH Digital Imaging Lab. (Smithsonian Institution), for photographic assistance. DLB acknowledges funding by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Ocean Program under award #NA17OP2919 and (in part) #NA06NOS4780190 to the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez. JNN acknowledges partial support of NSF Bioinventory grants (SI-DSCG-542079 and SI-DSGC-642079).


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Received: 2017-4-5
Accepted: 2017-7-13
Published Online: 2017-8-19
Published in Print: 2017-11-27

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