Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 515-523.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019384

• Bioinventory • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A revised taxonomy for Chinese hermatypic corals

Lintao Huang1,3,4,5,Hui Huang1,2,3,4,*(),Lei Jiang1,2   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301
    2 Innovation Academy of South China Sea Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301
    3 Tropical Marine Biological Research Station in Hainan, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sanya, Hainan 572000
    4 Hainan Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Biotechnology, Sanya, Hainan 572000
    5 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2019-12-04 Accepted:2020-01-19 Online:2020-04-20 Published:2020-06-15
  • Contact: Hui Huang


As the major reef framework builder, hermatypic corals play a key role in maintaining the stability and function of coral reef ecosystems. Understanding the taxonomy of hermatypic corals is critical to furthering research and conservation of reef corals and the ecosystem they construct. The application of molecular and small-scale morphological analyses has identified synonymous species and have challenged the traditional taxonomy of hermatypic corals, which was based merely on skeletal morphology. Moreover, many newly recorded species appeared without Chinese scientific names. These aforementioned issues hinder the progress of research and conservation of hermatypic corals in China. Here, we present a comprehensive species list of all hermatypic corals reported in China by collecting historical records, incorporating revised systematics, confirming synonymous species, and updating Chinese scientific names. Our results show that there are 445 known species of hermatypic corals in China, belonging to 16 families and 77 genera. Compared to Fauna Sinica · Coelenterata · Anthozoa · Scleractinia · Hermatypic Coral, we added 291 species, revised 13 species, synonymized 20 species, and designated Chinese name to 305 species. We added 26, revised 1 and synonymized 3 genera, and we added 7 and revised 5 families. Though we identified 187 synonymous species from historical records, there are still several discrepancies in the current taxonomy. We discuss these discrepancies and explain our classification rationale herein.

Key words: hermatypic coral, checklist, China, biodiversity