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Calcigorgia herba and its sister Calcigorgia lukini originate from the cold and nutrient-rich sea around the Kuril Islands, a chain of more than 30 large and small islands of volcanic origin in East Asia.
The third sister Calcigorgia beringi is native to the likewise cold Bering Sea around the Aleutian Islands, which belong to Alaska.
All three gorgonians are azooxanthellate and depend on the capture of zooplankton for food and energy.
Corals in cold waters reach a maximum growth of 1-2cm per year, so it can be quickly calculated how long it took the gorgonians to reach their above stated size.
The specific epithet ‘herba’ is due to a shape of colonies similar to a plant with a stalk in the form of a hollow straw and with small
flower-like protrusions reminiscent of ears of corn or tussock.
Other known Calcigorgia species:
Calcigorgia gracilis Matsumoto, van Ofwegen & Bayer, 2019
Calcigorgia gigantea Matsumoto, van Ofwegen & Bayer, 2019
Calcigorgia japonica Dautova, 2007
Calcigorgia matua Dautova, 2018
Calcigorgia pacifica Matsumoto, van Ofwegen & Bayer, 2019
Calcigorgia spiculifera Broch, 1935