Category: CNIDARIANS


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

 

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

Genus: Caulastrea sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Stony coral with a lightweight phaceloid skeleton which gives rise to plump circular polyps clustered on the end of branched stalks. Colors vary, usually green or brown.

 Caulastrea sp.32548578421_33e20ddf0b_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-West Pacific in tropical, protected, shallow reef slopes where the substrate is partly sandy,

REPRODUCTION: Can be easily fragmented and also reproduce by budding.

Remarks: One of the most remarkable and ecologically important features of these corals is that the polyps secrete a hard skeleton, called a ‘corallite’, which over successive generations contributes to the formation of a coral reef. The coral skeleton forms the bulk of the colony, with the living polyp tissue comprising only a thin veneer.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart, Color on the Reef AQA17

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 pages 285-286.

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32548578421/in/album-72157659465376212/

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

Arkive: www.arkive.org/caulastrea/caulastrea-furcata/

 

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

Genus/species: Sarcophyton sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: This octocoral (soft coral) is the largest species in the genus reaching a height of 1 m (3 ft). It is also the largest species in the family Alcyoniidae. Colors vary among species: white, grey, yellowish-green, green. Colonies mushroom, funnel, or cup-shaped, often with a folded margin. Typically have a thick, rubbery appearance with tentacles that extend from the large, often convoluted upper surface. Main stalk, often visible, bears no polyps.

Leather coral25932701823_e4bf21f882_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Leather Coral is found in the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea in tropical coral reefs in shallow water reef flats.

Leather Coral25930631984_0dde63aa15_o

DIET IN THE WILD: Microcarnivore of plankton and nutrition from algal photosynthesis.

Polyps retracted below

Leather coral29642268604_b9f76b741a_z

REPRODUCTION: Typically reproduces asexually by budding or fragmentation.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 4-14-16 AQA17

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 page 131-132

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Sarcophyton/classification/

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

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/25932701823/in/album-72157659465376212/

 

 

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

Genus/species: Actinodendron plumosum

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Hell’s Fire Anemone is poorly described. It looks more like a coral than and anemone. The color of  A. plumosum can be light yellowish-green, tan, brown, light green or gray. They have an oral disc that is drawn out into branched tentacles tipped with white swellings resembling globular spheres. Their tree like shape is unique in comparison to other anemones. Size: up to 12″ (30 cm).

Hell fire anemone31862717602_e9e55aaff4_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific on coral rich slopes and drop offs with coral gravel, or in shallow sandy and muddy areas. They bury their foot and body into the substrate and adhere their foot to hard surfaces underneath, having only their oral disc and tentacles emerging. When disturbed they can retract their entire body into the sand and be virtually invisible.

REMARKS: The sting from these anemones can damage and even kill other corals and fish. They use their very powerful and venomous nematocyst found in their tentacles to sting and deflect any possible threats or attacks, as well as for capturing prey. In humans the stings can cause ulcers at the site which last for months.

IMG_3633

References

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

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/31862717602/in/album-72157659465376212/

EOL eol.org/pages/421192/details#habitat

Animal-World  animal-world.com/Aquarium-Coral-Reefs/Hells-Fire-Anemone

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink, http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-8C

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Semaeostomeae
Family: Pelagiidae

Genus: Sanderia sp.

LOCOMOTION: Movement occurs when muscular contraction of the dome forces water out of the medusa. Refilling of the medusa occurs with muscular contraction.

Water currents control direction of the jelly thus they are considered plankton.

31575650231_48de03b9a4_o

REPRODUCTION: Alternation of life cycles—polyp, medusa
The drifting jellies shown here represents just one phase of a sea nettle’s life. As adults pulsing through the water, these jellies reproduce sexually. But in another stage of life, on the seafloor, they reproduce without sex.
When spawning, adults release clouds of sperm and tens of thousands of eggs a day. Their larvae sink and become polyps (like mini anemones) carpeting the seafloor. As they grow, each polyp buds off scores of tiny jellies and will become sexual adults.

References

Cailifornia Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Animal Attractions 2017

The Marine Biology Coloring Book Thomas Niesen 2000

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Ka

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/31575650231/in/album-72157629304397467/

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

Genus/species; Catostylus mosaicus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The blue, white or brown colors are derived from pigment produced by the jellyfish itself (not symbiotic algae, as in some other jellyfish). There is no obvious mouth on the underside, but there are small openings on each of its eight arm, through which food is passed to the stomach. Diameter up to 30 cm (18 in)  

29738845986_b24a44631b_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in coastal waters of Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

DIET IN THE WILD: The tentacles also have stinging cells that can capture tiny crustaceans and other plankton.

29482409560_d2c608244e_k

REMARKS: The Chinese believe eating jellies will reduce high blood pressure. Dried jellies are popular in many Asian countries, especially Japan, where they’re considered a culinary delicacy. The texture is reportedly crispy, yet elastic—hence the name “rubber band salad” for a dish sold in China.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef  2017 AQA10

EOL eol.org/pages/203402/details

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

WordPress  https://brianeyes21comcast.net/2016/09/18/9-9-16-blue-blub…o-pacific-series/   Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1In

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/29482409560/in/album-72157659465376212/

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Zoantharia
Order: Actiniara (anemones)
Family: Actiniidae

Genus/species: Urticina piscivora

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Large to 20 cm (8 inches) high and 26 cm (10 inches) across. The column is red (without spots) with white. Tentacles are white, and the oral disc is creamy yellow. Normally they do not accumulate debris such as shells and sand.

IMG_9525 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Alaska to southern California. Found in low intertidal areas with rocky attachment sites and at least moderate current. Depth to about 50 m (160 feet)

IMG_9523

DIET IN THE WILD: Invertebrates, shrimp and small fishes. U. piscivora have no zooxanthellae and depend wholly on capturing their food, a strategy aided by their exceptionally virulent nematocysts (stinging cells), which can cause long-lasting lesions on humans. Food items are usually swept into the central mouth by the tentacles where enzymes digest the food. Non digested items are expelled out through the mouth.

 

Genus/species: Urticina piscivora3702912695_1708579b2e_b 

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not evaluated

REMARKS: One fish species, the painted greenling (Oxylebius pictus), has been observed lying unharmed in this anemone much as clownfish do in tropical anemones. 

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Coastal Marine Reef Exhibit

eol eol.org/pages/2549643/details

Walla Walla Universitywww.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/…

Georgia Aquariumanimalguide.georgiaaquarium.org/home/galleries/cold-water…

Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3702912695/in/set-72157…

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1l6


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

Genus/species: Metridium farcimen  aka Metridium giganteum
Metridium farcimen4545409258_06cac3dd83_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Erect smooth column. Usually 50 cm (20 in) or less in height The column is slender, smooth and studded with acontia. These are openings through which thread-like nematocysts from inside the body wall can protrude. The oral disc is lobed and deeply convoluted at the edge and bears well over 100 fine, short, tapering tentacles. Color variable from white through cream to tan, brown and orange. Carries short, feathery tentacles in white, brown or gray.

 Metridium farcimenIMG_9548

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Eastern North Pacific: Alaska to Baja California. Found in sub tidal areas attached to rocky substrate. Individuals usually aggregate in groups on deeper rocky reefs.

 Metridium farcimen4673318353_928bfcd2f0_o

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton—whatever drifts by or is carried in by the tide; predators include Pisaster spp. sea star and some species of nudibranchs.

REPRODUCTION: Eggs and sperm from the gonads embedded in the body wall which are ejected through the mouth. Fertilised eggs develop into planula larvae which settle and metamorphose into polyps.                   

PREDATORS: Pisaster spp. sea star and some species of nudibranchs.

REMARKS: When attacked, they contract suddenly, extruding specialized nematocysts through the mouth and body wall that, much larger than those found in the tentacles, can deter or even kill predators.

 Location: California Rocky Coast and Giant Pacific Octopus exhibits

 References

 The University of Kansas kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/handle/1808/6043

 eol eol.org/pages/704280/details#type_information

 racerocks:www.racerocks.com/racerock/eco/taxalab/ensy02/bend.htm

 Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3400331201/in/set-72157625127345346/

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

 

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