The impact of Ted Bayer's research on octocorals was extraordinary and his studies will long be used by any student of the group Octocorallia. He leaves behind a legacy of 107 published papers on octocorals, in which he newly described 4 families, 1 subfamily, 48 genera, 2 subgenera, 186 species, and 10 subspecies. An annotated list of his new taxa and all of his manuscripts (including 9 unpublished) are given in an electronic supplement. Although he published on most octocoral families, his favorite groups were the deep-water calcaxonian families from the western Atlantic, central Pacific, and Antarctic; he was also an expert on the precious coral family Coralliidae. He facilitated the study of the subclass by publishing classifications of the higher taxa, an illustrated trilingual glossary of morphological terms, a key to all genera (exclusive of the Pennatulacea), and an annotated bibliography of the literature of the group. He was the first to use scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of sclerites to describe species, and perfected that technique in the use of SEM stereo pairs. He also made a significant contribution to advances in the knowledge of octocoral axial microstructure, proving that all gorgoniids have a diagnostic type of axial mineralogy. He interacted with and influenced virtually every octocoral worker in the last half of the twentieth century, co-authoring with many of them.
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