Synopsis top ↑
The history of the major marine and terrestrial investigations in the Maldives, beginning with the survey of Commander R. Moresby during 1834 to 1836, is briefly reported. The largest contribution to the knowledge of the Maldivian fauna and flora came as a result of J.S. Gardiner’s expedition in 1899 to 1900. Further results were obtained by the John Murray Expedition 1933—34 led by RB. Seymour Sewell, and by the collections of Major W.W.A. Phillips in the post-war period. The "Xarifa" Expedition 1957/58 spent several months in the Maldives and was followed 1964 by another of the University of Cambridge under the leadership of D.R. Stoddart. The "Xarifa" Expedition of the International Institute for Submarine Research, Vaduz, led by Dr. H. Hass, called with a team of scientists at different Maldivian atolls during December 1957 to April 1958, and assembled collections of fishes, birds, corals and other marine invertebrates. On these collections is already reported by various workers. The present work deals with the stony corals, brought home from Addu, Ari, Rasdu and Fadiffolu Atoll. Further data from Suvadiva Atoll, Gaha Faro and Miladummadulu Atoll are incorporated. The various collecting stations with their ecological conditions and assemblages of corals are briefly reported. The systematic section comprises 143 species of reef corals and 4 ahermatipic species from 52 genera and 14 families. These 147 species are described and their affinities discussed, information on their geographical distribution are summarized. 57 species are figured. A table shows the coral species collected on the different stations with the frequency of their occurrence. Further a check-list of all Maldivian corals, referred to in literature and comprising 241 species from 75 genera, is provided with their known occurrence in various atolls. 8 species are described as new to science and one received a new name. 10 species are found for the first time from the Indian Ocean.