Stylasterid corals are widely distributed in all oceans from the intertidal zone to the deep sea. They are habitat-forming species, reaching high densities and establishing a wide range of associations with other taxa. In the last decades, many new deep-water stylasterids have been described and the faunas of several regions of the globe have been revised; however, the tropical Pacific Ocean remains relatively understudied. In this paper, a new mesophotic species of Distichopora, D. cryptostylus, is described from the Republic of Palau, Caroline Islands. The new Distichopora is distinguished from congenerics by its uniquely shaped coenosteal pores, a paucity of dactylostyles, and apical dactylotomes.
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Vol. 73 • No. 4