Category: CNIDARIANS


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Actiniidae

Genus/species; Condylactis sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Disc size: 10–40 cm (4-16 in) Colors differ.

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found throughout the Caribbean and Western Atlantic; also Indo-Pacific. Found in lagoons or on inner reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Like many other cnidarians, these anemones host zooxanthellae. They also collect small invertebrates and fishes with their tentacles.

REPRODUCTION: Male and female release eggs and sperm into the water. After fertilization and development, larvae metamorphose and settle out as juvenile anemones. Can also reproduce asexually through splitting and budding.

REMARKS: Indo-Pacific Condylactis spp. and clownfish do not display symbiotic behavior in the wild. However, aquarists report that if introduced in an aquarium, the anemone may serve as a clownfish host. There are no clownfish species in the Caribbean

BEWARE:
Annals of Internal Medicine: A healthy 28 year old man died of liver failure after being touched by a condylactis anemone.

Other actiniarian to be wary of are the Mimic Anemone (Phyllodiscus semoni) is known to have caused acute renal failure and severe dermatitis. The Hellsfire Anemone (Actinodendron plumosum), the Snake Anemone (Actinostephanus haeckeli), and the Armed Anemone (Dofleinia armata) are reported to cause extremely painful stings and persistent ulceration of the skin. And the Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) has been implicated in causing prolonged neurological damage and even anaphylactic shock in aquarists

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean reef exhibit 2016

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8727971592/in/album-72157625866509117/

Reefs.com. https://reefs.com/2018/04/14/the-severe-health-risk-posed-by-the-caribbean-condylactis-anemone/

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: Yellow Cup Cora are found throughout the Indo-Pacific 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: T. reniformis unlike most corals which are hermaphroditic (have both male and female sex organs releasing gametes for external fertilization), Yellow Cup Coral have separate male and female sexes.

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.  Easily confused with Goniastrea and Leptoria.

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 Hidden Reef Shrimpfish exhibit 2018

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 Scyphozoa
Class: Scyphozoa
Subclass: Discomedusae
Order: Semaeostomeae
Family: Pelagiidae

Genus/species: Chrysaora plocamia

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Sometimes huge, diameter reported to max.of 1 m (3ft), oral arms up to. 5 m (15+ft)  or more, but in many populations reported smaller, more typically to ca. 50 cm (20 inches) diameter. Exumbrella smooth. Tentacles in adult 24, 3 per octant; and oral arms are frilled distally.
Color varies. Ground color may also be orange, or white; bell may have dark purple edge; tentacles may be dark purple; mouth-arms may be white/translucent-colorless. Marginal tentacles white to red with yellowish bases (type description).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They occur along both Atlantic and Pacific South American coasts.

REPRODUCTION: Jellies reproduce sexually and asexually.
In the adult, or medusa, jellyfish can reproduce sexually by releasing sperm and eggs into the water, forming a planula. In this larval stage of jellyfish life, which attaches to the bottom of a smooth rock or other structure and grows into another stage. The polyp resembles a miniature sea anemone. During this stage, which can last for several months or years, asexual reproduction occurs. The polyps clone themselves and budhat grows into the adult medusa jellyfish.

REMARKS: Stings are irritating but not severe, lasting 30-60 minutes.

Refrences

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Animal Attractions 2018

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/24372029277/in/album-72157629304397467/

Smithsonian Ocean Portal  ocean.si.edu/ocean-photos/jellyfish-lifecycle-and-reprodu…

Scientific American    www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-jellyfish-repro…

Springer Link link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-7015-7_10

Worms Taxon www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=287210

Marine Species Identification Portal

species-identification.org/species.php?species_group=zsao…

Ron’s WordPress Short link https://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Te

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: 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/

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