Tag Archive: Coral


TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Alcyonacea (soft corals)
Family: Alcyoniidae

Genus: Sinularia notanda (Tree-like soft coral)

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colors include purple, pink, gray, green, and yellow, but are usually brown to cream. They have stalks with tree-like branches, and from those form little branchlets. The branchlets have small autozooid (feeding) polyps which have the ability to retract fully.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Indo West Pacific on coral reefs in fairly strong currents.

DIET IN THE WILD: Phytoplankton and very small zooplankton
(Harbors symbiotic zooxanthellae which adds nutrition to its tissues from the algae’s photosynthesis.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color Cluster 2016 AQA17 Pam Montbach

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/27838187418/in/album-72157659465376212/

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 page 132

WoRMS http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=29991

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
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/

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
Subkingdom: Metazoa
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthoza
Order: Scleractina
Family: Faviidae

Genus/species: Colpophyllia natans

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Dome shaped colonies of individual polyps. The colony surfaces are covered with random curved ridges separated by large long and wide grooves known as valleys. Size: Up to 6 feet in diameter.

Boulder Brain Coral5230996878_5b77255438_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys. Depth up to 55 m (180 ft)

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton and zooxanthella by-products.

REPRODUCTION: Budding, and external sexual fertilization.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least Concern     Threats include coral bleaching, black band disease, and white plague which can cause mortality.

REMARKS: Even though they may grow to 6 feet their skeletons will float when dry.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean Reef Exhibit

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/5230996878/in/album-72157625866509117/

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

arkive  www.arkive.org/boulder-brain-coral/colpophyllia-natans/

IUCN Red List www.iucnredlist.org

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hydrozoa
Order: Anthomedusae
Family: Milleporidae

Genus/species: Millepora sp. 

3271264676_0c4fd03cd3_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colored brownish, greenish or
grayish, often with a yellow hue and light tips. Skeleton calcareous with diverse growth-forms from fine branching, to domes, encrusting, or sheet-like. May form extensive colonies to 2 m diameter.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Pantropical, shallow reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Microplankton; zooxanthellae also provide nutrition.

REPRODUCTION: Sexual reproduction, with both medusa and polyp
stages; asexual reproduction via budding. Note Anthozoan corals have only a polyp stage.

IMG_1517

CONSERVATION STATUS: All coral reef species are threatened due to global warming. 

REMARKS: Fire corals are important reef-building organisms, though they are not closely related to the most common group of reef-building hard corals (Scleractinians), which belong to an entirely different class (Anthozoa). Unlike octocorals or hexacorals, fire corals possess polyps so small they are almost microscopic. One type is armed with nematocysts for food-capture and defense; the other type are capable of sexual reproduction. Potent nematocysts are also used to clear the coral of organisms that might shade zooxanthellae and can inflict a painful, burning sting to humans, hence the common name. Fire corals can outcompete many other corals by growing large quickly. and dominating the available space.

Venoms Cluster

Fire Coral PR24

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157623828845591/with/3271264676/

WordPress Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-NT

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