Category: CNIDARIANS


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Stichodactylidae

Genus/species: Heteractis magnifica

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: H. magnifica is the second largest in size of all sea anemones. Disc to 1 m (3 ft) in diameter. Column which may be red, purple, or pink, grows to 20 cm (8 in). Tentacles (exceed 8 cm 3 in long) are of uniform thickness and do not taper at te tip; tentacles and oral disc are colored alike in shades of magenta-purple, blue, green , red, white or brown.

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-Pacific at 1–25 m (3-85 ft) often on prominent structures in strong currents or in strong surge locations.

DIET IN THE WILD: Most nutrition is from products of zooxanthellae. Also may eat fish and crustaceans using their stinging nematocysts.

REPRODUCTION: Asexual reproduction by longitudinal fission. The presence of the symbiotic clown fish Amphiprion chrysopterus can increase the amount of asexual reproduction and general growth.
Sexual reproduction, their fertilized eggs develop into a planula larvae which settles on the ocean floor and develops into a polyp.

 

PREDATION: Symbiotic clownfishes, chase away any nibbling predators, especially bristle worms.

LONGEVITY: in the wild. It is estimated that some of these anemones are hundreds of years old. In captivity, the longest lifespan is 80 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Host to at least 12 anemonefish species. When disturbed, H. magifica “balls up,”showing only the column with only a few tentacles protruding.
The magnificent anemone is motile when trying to re-position itself to obtain more sunlight. This species moves by creeping on its basal disc, or by letting the tide carry it.
Anemones can be semi-aggressive and sting other anemones that invade their space.

References

California Academy of Sciences Water is Life Animal Attractions 2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32131406193/in/album-72157629304397467/

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Heteractis_magnifica/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1PJ

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Rhizostomeae
Family: Mastigiidae

Genus/species: Mastigias papua 

IMG_5610

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The translucent bell of M. papua is usually hemispherical, with a diameter ranging from 30 to 80 mm (1 in to 3 inches). This species has 8 frilled oral arms, rather than tentacles. These arms end in a club-like filament that has a triangular cross-section, though this is absent in some species. Each oral arm has mouths on the club, as well as along the length towards the bell.
Color variation exists within Mastigias papua, though the bell is usually greenish blue to olive-green with yellow, white, and/or brown oval, granular spots across the rim (over the exumbrella). Coloring can be attributed to the zooxanthellae that reside symbiotically within the lagoon jellyfish (mostly in the mesoglea)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Pacific ocean usually bays, harbors and lagoons.

DIET IN THE WILD: Instead of a single mouth, they have many small mouth openings on their oral-arms, which capture small animal plankton. In addition, each jelly grows a crop of algae, which gives them a greenish-brown color. They harvest some of their food directly from the algae.

MORTALITY: Lifespan of approximately 4 months

PREDATION The only creature that has been confirmed to prey on Mastigias papua is a sea anemone, Entacmaea medusivora.

IMG_5608

REMARKS: Some species of small, juvenile fishes are known to shelter within this jelly’s bell for protection from larger predators.
The famous jellyfish of Jellyfish Lake, a well-known dive site in the Pacific islands of Palau, are descended from M. papua However unlike its jellyfish lake cousin M. papua possess venomous stinging cells for feeding and protection.

Human contacts may  experience many adverse effects such as rashes, severe itching, nausea, and vomiting when contacting tentacles.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 2017 AQA17

Monterey Bay Aquarium  www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/invertebrates/sp…

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Mastigias_papua/

EOL  eol.org/pages/203445/overview

Ron’sW0rdpress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-PC

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157610031545571/with/5985963712/

 

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 2017 AQA17

Monterey Bay Aquarium

www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/invertebrates/sp…

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Mastigias_papua/

Eol eol.org/pages/203445/overview

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Corallimorpharia
Family: Ricordeidae

Genus/sp. Rhodactis spp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Rhodactis mushroom grow much larger than other mushroom genera, some attaining sizes of more than 10 inches across. The surface of their mushroom cap is covered with small tentacles (verrucae) or large warty knobs that are radially arranged. They are found attached to rock.

Rhodactus32905288196_ab8d24778a_z

DIET IN THE WILD: Ricordeidae feed both on the products of zooxanthellae, and on zooplankton or fish they catch with their tentacles and nematocysts as well as dissolved organic matter.

Rhodactus32774273105_54135cc7e6_z

REPRODUCTION: Asexual reproduction occurs by two mechanisms. Split or fission reproduction occurs when the coral splits along its mouth creating a clone. Alternatively, particulates released from the foot can develop into a new specimen, which is called laceration.

Sexual reproduction produces a larva called a Planula which once on the seabed develops into a new individual.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA12 2017

Aquarium Corals Eric Borneman TFH publications 2001 pages 206-209

EOL eol.org/pages/4680444/overview

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1M9

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32905288196/in/album-72157659465376212/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Alcyonacea
Family: Alcyoniidae

Genus/species: Lobophytum sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Typically colored yellowish brown, some ridged leather corals colored green by their algal endosymbionts. Lobed leather corals often encrusting or low and spreading. Upper surface with rounded or finger-like lobes. Usually no real stalk; colony often grows out from a low platform. Large polyps distinctly spaced from one another. Tentacles are retractile.

Tentacles retracted below

Lobophytum sp.32131393013_65a065d26a_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in Indo-Pacific, Red Sea tropical coral reefs. Zonation varies by species, intertidal to 30 m. Notes apply to entire genus composed of at least 47 species.

Tentacles extended below

lobophytum sp.15794440950_f989b64b19_k

DIET IN THE WILD: They capture microscopic food particles from the water column, can absorb dissolved organic matter, and also use algal photosynthesis.

REPRODUCTION Typically reproduces asexually by budding or fragmentation.

REMARKS: Like Sarcophyton sp., to which it’s closely related, Lobophytum has two distinct types of polyps, one quite small, the other larger. Sinularia has only one.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17 2017 Vetting Charles Delbeek

Aquarium Corals Eric Borneman TFH publications 2001 pages 127-129

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32131393013/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1M0

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia (stony corals or hard corals)
Family: Dendrophylliidae

Genus/species: Turbinaria reniformis

(Brain coral Platygyra sp. on the right)

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: T. reniformis may form cup, vase, or spreading scroll-like plates, Color yellow, brown, or sometimes green. The corallites widely spaced apart from each other with the polyps like short tufts sprouting from the surface.

Diameter of plates up to 1 meter (3 ft)

turbinaria32394123080_1e4c866324_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Habitat: Variable, from shallow turbid water to clear reef flats and deeper reef slopes ( 2 to 15 metres)

DIET IN THE WILD: Zooxanthellae provide nutrients and energy, and help remove metabolic wastes.

REPRODUCTION: Unlike most corals which are hermaphroditic (T. reniformis have both male and female sex organs releasing gametes for external fertilization.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Vulnerable (VU) T. reniformisis is susceptible to bleaching and disease due to a more restricted depth range,

REMARKS: When irritated, it can produce large amounts of clear mucus which can damage other corals; the mucus is presumed to contain nematocysts or a toxin.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Shrimpfish exhibit and Philippine Coral Reef Exhibit, 2017 Pam Montbach

Aquarium Corals E.H. Borneman 2001 ppg 318-321

EOL eol.org/pages/1016035/details

ARKIVE  www.arkive.org/yellow-scroll-coral/turbinaria-reniformis/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1LJ

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32428403365/in/album-72157659465376212/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia (stony corals or hard corals)
Family: Faviidae

Genus: Platygyra sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colonies can be massive, encrusting, dome-shaped or flattened. Corallites (the skeletal cup, formed by an individual stony coral polyp, in which the polyp sits) form meandering walls of brown, green, or gray surrounding contrasting valleys of cream, pink, gray, or even fluorescent green. 

Platygyra32394124350_d187cacd4e_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific, including the Red Sea and around Australia and Southeast Asia. Inhabits a variety of reef locations, including reef flats, back reefs, and deeper waters.

DIET: Primary nutrition received from the photosynthesis of symbiotic zooxanthellae. Supplemental diet from capture of microplankton by stinging tentacles.

REPRODUCTION: Sexually by spawning and asexually by budding (polyps divide to form new polyps)

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least Concern (LC)

References

California Academy of Steinhart Aquarium Sciences Color on the Reef Shrimpfish exhibit 2017

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32394124350/in/album-72157659465376212/

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman 2001 ppg 298-99

Arkive  www.arkive.org/brain-coral/platygyra-daedalea/

Carpenter, K.E. (1998) An introduction to the oceanography Corals ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/w7191e/w7191e10.pdf

IUCN Red List 2009 www.iucnredlist.org/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1LE

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Alcyonacea
Family: Nephtheidae

Genus: Capnella sp. (Tree-like soft coral)

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: It has a stalk that is usually cream to brown, with some having a tint of green. Their color is usually cream to brown. The Capnella genus has an erect tree-like structure with lateral branches that are heavily forked. On the top of the branches there are clusters of non-retractable polyps. The base or stalk is without polyps and appears smooth.
(Sinularia spp polyps can retract fully)

Finger Leather Coral24467607171_d42dc69a98_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Indo-West Pacific and Red Sea.
Tend to grow in clear water with stronger currents on deeper reef slopes.

Finger Leather Coral25692244975_89523fbc07_k

DIET IN THE WILD: They capture microscopic food particles from the water column, can absorb dissolved organic matter, and have a symbiotic relationship with a marine algae known as zooxanthellae, where they also receive some of their nutrients.

REPRODUCTION: By budding, fission, and dropping little branches

CONSERVATION: Not on IUCN Red List

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color Cluster 2017 AQA17 Charles Delbeek

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/24467607171/in/album-72157659465376212/

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 page 135

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Lu

EOL eol.org/pages/1761/details

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Caryophylliidae (Hexacoral or stony polyped coral)

Genus/species: Plerogyra sinuosa

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colonial corals often covered
with clusters of bubble-like structures (thus the common name), each over 1 cm in length. Tentacles extend at night to capture small prey. Colored gray, bluish, greenish, brownish or rich cream. The skeleton is a mineral aragonite.

bubble coral23923123353_354a13e35d_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific and Australia region.Found in turbid bays and lagoons, on reefs in deep water or under overhangs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Light-capturing bubble-like vesicles extend during the day to support the photosynthesis of the algal symbionts. Tentacles extend at night to capture small prey.

Bubble Coral4561883874_27975403aa_o

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Near threatened (NT)

REMARKS: This is a stony coral, despite the soft appearance the “bubbles” give during the day.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17  Charles Delbeek

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 Page 311

EOL  eol.org/pages/1006618/details

IUCN Red List www.iucnredlist.org/details/133258/0

WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Lo

Ron’s Flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/23923123353/in/album-72157659465376212/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Fungiidae

Genus/species: Fungia sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Hexacoral Genus noted for short, tapering tentacles and a very large mouth opening. The structure is home to a single polyp which sits in a calcareous cup, the corallite. Many septae stretch from the central mouth to sides of the polyp. Usually the form is nearly circular. 

This specimen has its tentacles retracted.

Diameter up to 28 cm (11 inches

Mushroom Coral24651024753_5ace92aaf6_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and east Africa, west to Hawaii in tropical and subtropical latitudes. Found among other coral, rubble, or on sand.

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton, jellies (using nematocysts), proteins (using sticky cilia)

REPRODUCTION: Fungia corals can reproduce sexually or asexually. During sexual reproduction, eggs and sperm are released into the water where the egg is fertilised and develops into larvae. Juvenile Fungia are attached, but become free-living with age, Budding and fragmentation.also can occur.

This specimen has its tentacles retracted.

Mushroom Coral5064192598_beeff0e593_o

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: Rather than forming colonies like most corals, Fungia corals are usually solitary and free-living. Because they are unattached, Fungia can be easily moved by waves, and so are most often found in protected places, often at depths where wave action is reduced.

By inflating the body cavity, mushroom corals are able to upright themselves after being overturned. They will travel by inflating their tissue and using current to move.

When Fungi are in immediate contact with other hard corals, they secrete a mucus that can damage coral tissues and prevents the over growth of these neighbouring corals.

Mushroom coral skeleton below


Mushroom Coral24929915125_850e98ad03_k

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Water is life Color on the Reef 2017

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 page253-257

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/5063580569/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Lb

Arkive www.arkive.org/mushroom-corals/fungia-spp/

Animal World animal-world.com/Aquarium-Coral-Reefs/Plate-Coral

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Trachyphylliidae (Solitary stony Coral)

Genus/species: Trachyphyllia geoffroyi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Name comes from Gr: trachys (rough) and phylon (leaf) as it looks like a leaf lying on the substrate. Trachyphyllia are secondarily free-living, usually beginning growth as a single polyp attached to a hard surface. Later it breaks off, and is found detached on sandy or muddy bottoms. Color may vary with depth or substrate: pink to red,
brownish, gray, green, or blue, even multistreaked and iridescent. Fleshy polyps extend well beyond the margin of the stony skeleton.

Open Brain Coral30683128974_b9d9e4ba50_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indian and Western Pacific oceans on sandy bottoms among seagrass in the outer feel margins.

DIET IN THE WILD: Nutrition from photosynthetic zooxanthellae; also microplankton and other small food bits. Tentacles extended in low light or at night to capture plankton.

CONSERVATION: IUCN RED LIST Near Threatened (NT)

REMARKS: Tangs and angelfishes like to nip and feed on them.
At night their soft tissues may swell to remove debris and sand that accumulates during the day.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 pages 301-3

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/30683128974/in/album-72157659465376212/

Australian Institute of Marine Science  coral.aims.gov.au/factsheet.jsp?speciesCode=0350

Arkive.org www.arkive.org/open-brain-coral/trachyphyllia-geoffroyi/

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/133260/0

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1L5

 

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