On January 4, 2018, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) board members and researchers from the University of the Ryukyus, Dr. James Reimer and Mr. Hiroki Kise, presented a new species that was discovered in Palau’s waters to President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr.  The species has been named Antipathozoanthus remengesaui, in honor of President Remengesau for his contributions to conservation efforts here in Palau and around the world.


Coral reefs, which are widely threatened by rising temperatures, are generally believed to harbour high numbers of species, including many that have not been described. A new species of zoantharian has been discovered in Palau, thanks to researchers from PICRC, University of Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, and Kagoshima University in Kagoshima, Japan.

Despite being previously unknown, this species has been found widely across the Indo-Pacific. Zoantharians, or colonial anemones, include species popular in the pet trade, but this new species is much more cryptic, living in marine caves on black corals. The research was published December 29, 2017, in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

“Much of our work was based in Palau”, expresses Dr. James Reimer, “and we wished to acknowledge the fantastic support we have received from the nation. Palau is considered at the forefront of marine conservation, and much of this is thanks to President Remengesau’s efforts.” [/restrict]