Tag Archive: coral reefs

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


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

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.


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/



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets)

Genus/species: Hypoplectrus gummigutta

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body rich chrome-yellow in color. The snout is black bordered by an iridescent blue. Pectoral fins pigmented. Hamlet “species” are defined primarily on differences in color patterns. They are known to interbreed and hybridize freely with very little consistent genetic differentiation amongst them.

Golden Hamlet19442208331_9807a11d99_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: H. gummigutta is rare and found in the Western Central Atlantic. It is coral reef associated.


No known major threat but juveniles are potentially a prey item of the invasive Lionfish.


Golden hamlet18815471474_4ab1413005_k

REPRODUCTION: The Golden Hamlet is a simultaneous hermaphrodite (possesses both male and female sex organs).  Successful spawning requires two individual fish.

Color of Life note: Brightly colored fish seem to jump into your sight. But underwater, these bright colors mingle with those of other fish, reef creatures, and the coral itself, to offer a mixtures of color and patterns in which no one individual stands out. Movement of the anemones and corals in the current also serve to obscure and protect the fish.
Ref: California Academy Academy of Sciences, Color of Life Exhibit 2015


Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/19442208331/in/album-72157652559028013/

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

Reef builders.com (an excellent description of the Caribbean reef exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences). http://reefbuilders.com/2015/03/24/steinhart-aquariums-caribbean-display-realistic-biotope-representation/#

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/Hypoplectrus-gummigutta.html

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/16751128/0

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