Despite implausible cosmopolitanism, the species Scorpiodinipora costulata (Canu & Bassler, 1929) has been attributed with reservations to small encrusting colonies with similar morphological features whose known distribution is scattered in tropical and subtropical seas: Pacific Ocean (Philippines), Indian Ocean (Oman), Red Sea, SE Mediterranean, SE Atlantic (Ghana) and SW Atlantic (Brazil). This material raised questions about its generic assignment. The genus Scorpiodinipora Balavoine, 1959 is redescribed with Schizoporella costulata Canu & Bassler, 1929, from the Philippines as the type species, as Balavoine misidentified the specimens to define the genus as Cellepora bernardii Audouin, 1826. Moreover, SEM examination of the cotypes of S. costulata showed that Canu & Bassler confused two genera among them. A lectotype and paralectotype were thus chosen from Canu & Bassler's syntypes corresponding with the present morphotype. Hippodiplosia ottomuelleriana var. parva Marcus, 1938, from Brazil, which presents the same morphotype, is provisionally considered as the junior synonym of S. costulata. Considering the broad allopatric distribution of this morphotype across the oceans and the low capacity of dispersal of species with short-lived larvae, it is likely that this material includes several sibling species. However, the role of man-mediated dispersal is not excluded, at least in regions with high shipping activity, such as that comprising the Suez Canal.
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Vol. 34 • No. 1