S imilar Species Ep izoa n th us spp

Natural Habitat Found encrusting other organisms such as sponges, hydroids and gorgonians. Aquarium Care Must be fed a diet of zooplankton, or a plankton substitute such as powdered flake food, baby brine shrimp, Daphnia, pureed shrimp, crab, or fish meat. Reproduction Presumably asexual reproduction is by extension of the membranous sheath and budding. Little is known about Parazoanthus sp. growing on a sponge. J. Sprung Parazoanthus axinelliae from the Mediterranean Sea. One of the few...

Info

Retractile polyps 234 Parazoanthus 65. 305, 307, 310 Pa reryth ropodiu m 196 Pathogenic bacteria in marine Pedal laceration 81-82, 118, 322 Peperoni shrimp 407 Periclimenes brevicaipalis 131, 131,407 373, 377, 404 Periclimenes brevicaipalis 409 Phagocytosis 111 Pharynx 19 Ph est ill a m ela n o brach ia 419 Phimochirus holtbuisi H40 Phi mock in is operc ulatus 439 Phormidium corallyticum 436 Phoronid worms 364 Photoperiod 355 Photosynthetic Gorgonians 264 Photosynthetic stinging hydroids 431...

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The Blue Coral, Heliopora coerulea has a dense stony carbonate and embedded iron salts which give it a blue colour. The live animal is brown, and has tiny eight-tentacled polyps which identify it as a type of octocorallia. It is therefore a soft coral with a hard skeleton. J. Sprung Soft corals of the genus Dendronephthya are what typically comes to mind for most people when they hear the description soft coral. These soft-bodied colonies have sharp spiny sclerites that give them a tough...

Fun Facts Of Zoanthus

Parazoanthus sp. growing over a hydroid in the Solomon Islands. J. Sprung Prolific asexual reproduction results in the typical compact growth form of these Zoanthus spp. photographed in an aquarum. J. C. Delbeek genus. It is not uncommon to find colonies several meters in diameter on reef flats these can sometimes even he formed by hundreds of clones of a single polyp (Mather and Bennett, 1993). Extensive growths of Zoanthus spp. for example, are often found along shorelines, literally covering...

Discharge of Cnidae

The capture of prey by anemones usually involves the use of cnidae to seize the prey. In most anemones thus far studied the cnidome (complement of cnidae) consists of only three types spirocysts that are glutinant and hold the prey microbasic p-mastigophores that penetrate and capture the prey and b-mastigophores that are used both to penetrate and capture the prey and for defense (Shick, 1991 Mariscal, 1974b). Toxins injected into the prey also help to immobilize it. The discharge of...

Trace Elements

The importance of trace elements to the health of sea anemones is recognized but far from well-understood. The function of the different elements can be related to pigment formation and the metabolism of the symbiotic zooxanthellae, but it can also be important for growth and tissue repair of the host anemone. Aquarists have noted positive effects from the addition of trace quantities of iodide, bromide, copper, and zinc, for example, which are included in the ingredients of many commercially...

Scientific Name Macrodactyla doreensis Quoy And Gaimard 1833

Common Name Corkscrew Anemone, Sebae Anemone, Sand Anemone, Long Tentacle Anemone (L.T.A), Red Base Anemone, Long Tentacle Red Based Anemone, Purple Long Tentacle Anemone Colour Many colours and patterns. Brown, green, gray, blue, or Purple. Often with radiating stripes on oral disc extending onto tentacles. Column is usually reddish orange with distinctive white verrucae. Distinguishing Characteristics Tentacles sparse, more concentrated toward the periphery so that oral disc is clearly...

Sexual Reproduction

Records of sexual reproduction in corallimorpharia are not common in the scientific literature. Most deal only with observa- tions of the presence of gonads or gametes in collected specimens (e .g. den Hartog, 1980, 1987 Dunn and Hamner, 1980). Only two studies have investigated sexual reproduction in coralfimorphar-ians, Holts and Beauchamp's 1993 paper on Corynactis califor-nica and Chen et al.1 s 1995a paper on Rhodactis indosinensis. Corynactis californica has been shown to be gonochoristic...

Shrinking

Anemones that do not receive adequate light to maintain their populations of symbiotic zooxanthellae that provide them with much of their nutrition usually shrink gradually. The shrinking involves consumption of tissues as a means of making up for the deficit in energy7 from the zooxanthellae. If an anemone is shrinking, increase the light intensity and feed the anemone at least once per week to promote growth. Try a variety of foods. If the anemone refuses food do not try to force feed it....

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Similar Species Condylactis develop bubble tipped tentacles and so may be confused with Entacmaea quadricolor. Young specimens with beaded tentacles look like H. aurora or B. annulata. Natural Habitat Common among Halimeda opuntia algae in shallow seagrass (Tbalassia testudinum) beds in Florida and the Caribbean. Also found along rocky shores imbedded in rock crevices and on reefs in sand or on rock. Aquarium Care Easily cared for when given sufficient light. Can be maintained with a few...

Bacterial Infections In Gigantea Anemones

Of the disc, and usually has a more folded disc shape, though that is highly variable depending on illumination. The tentades of some specimens of S. haddoni do move like those of S. gigantea when illuminated strongly. It is possible that S. gigantea hybridizes with S. haddoni. Natural Habitat In shallow lagoon environments on rock or in sand or mud, with strong illumination. Sometimes abundant on inteitidal mudflats. At low tide they experience stagnant conditions and may even be partly...

Scientific Name Ricordea florida Duchassaing and Michelotti 1860

Common Name Ricordea, Florida False Coral Colour Green, blue, brown, gray, fluorescent orange, pink, copper, yellow, and combinations of these colours. Distinguishing Characteristics Tentacles with rounded or clavate tips look like small berries arranged in a radial pattern over the surface of the oral disc. Tentacles never have distinctly differentiated acrospheres at tips nor pimple-like projections off of the tentacles. Marginal tentacles often more elongate than discal tentacles. Firm...

Uptake of Dissolved Inorganic and Organic Matter

We just mentioned that the host anemone may eat the clown-fishes' solid waste. The clownfish also provide an on-site source of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (via ammonium excreted from the gills), and this benefits the symbiotic zooxanthellae. Of course the vast quantity of water passing over an anemone carries with it small quantities of dissolved inorganic nutrients, so with proper water flow an anemone has all the food it needs brought right to it. Anemones capture organic matter as well and...

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Spp. nudibranchs have a shape that is quite similar to the shape of Convolutriloba retrogemma. The flatworm and the nudibranch both I ave tails ' and the shape of the head and overall silhouette is the same. A possible origin of this evolution of similar shape we will discuss shortly. Good candidates to try for flatw orm control include Chelidonura electra, C. inornata, C. amoena, C. castanea, C. flavolohata, C. fuIv punctata, C. livida, C. hirun-dinina, Cpunctata, C. sandrana, C. tsurugensis,...

The Identification and Care of Soft Corals

The eight tentacled cnidaria encompass a broad range of forms that captivate the observer with their movement and palette of colour. While a handful of scientists attempt to classify them, which is no easy task, others are analyzing them for natural products chemistry in the search for new medicines see chapter one . Meanwhile aquarists have been growing the lovely soft corals of the tropical reefs at home in miniature reef aquariums where they thrive just like flowering plants in a garden, To...

Water Motion

As with most sessile invertebrates, zoanthids rely on water motion to bring food and dissolved substances to them and to rid themselves of wastes. Moderate water motion with the occasional strong burst are appreciated by zoanthids. Good water motion will also encourage faster growth ol the colony. Finally, good water motion will prevent the accumulation of detritus between the polyps. If detritus and sand are allowed to accumulate between the A colony of brillant green polyps, undesirable algae...

Polyp Anatomy

The anatomy of corallimorpharian polyps is quite similar to that of stony coral polyps. However, there is a great deal of variation between the various families and genera, and there is no basic internal anatomy. Polyps consist of three layers. The internal endoderm surrounds the interior gastrovascular cavity. This cavity contains numerous outgrowths of the endoderm called mesenteries, the gonads and mesenterial filaments. Gonads develop along the mesenteries. The mesenterial filaments are a...

Scientific Name Pseiidocorynactis caribbeorum den Hartog 1980

Colour Column brown, orange, or reel, often mottled. Tentacles clear and nearly colorless except for the ball-like tips which are typically orange, sometimes white. Oral disc often spotted with white markings. Distinguishing Characteristics Inconspicuous during the daytime because it remains closed. At night this corallimorph opens to become an exquisite starburst of colour, with bright orange balls held erect out from the oral disc. Similar Species Most similar to some species of Corallimorph...

Scientific Name Pacifigorgia spp

Common Name Red Sea Fan, Panamic Sea Fan Colour Red, orange, brown with whitish polyps. Distinguishing Characteristics Growth in one plane. Reddish colour, stiff horny skeleton, white or clear polyps. Not photosyn-thetic. Three species are available occasionally. Two of them are shown here. Described species include P. adamsii and P. Irene. Similar Species There are numerous other bright red sea fans in the Indo-Pacific with whitish polyps. Natural Habitat Rock walls in areas with surge along...

Sea Stars

There are several species of very tiny sea stars Asterina spp. that proliferate vegetatively in reef aquaria. They divide spontaneously and the severed parts regenerate the missing legs quickly. In our experience these sea stars are generally harmless, but we have seen one species eat small polyped stony corals, while another species seems to eat coralline algae. Most species are scavengers that eat detritus. Because of the possibility that some species eat corals we view these sea stars with...

Temperature

The metabolic functions of sea anemones work within a range of temperatures. Exposure to temperatures beyond this range will injure or kill the anemone in a very short period of time. In this book we describe the tropical sea anemones commonly kept in aquaria, but we have also included a couple of subtropical temperate species because they sometimes end up for sale to aquarists keeping tropical aquariums. In general, tropical species suffer if the temperature falls below 20 C 68 F or rises...

Asexual reproduction Stich odact j ia

Mertensii and S. gigantea 123 Atlantic Anemone 376 Atlantic beaded anemone 372 Atlantic Carpet Anemone 404 ATP 106 Aurora Anemone 388 Autotomy 119 Autozooids 24-25 Autozooids, 251 B-rhabdoids 104 Bacteria that attack and kill anemones 359 Bacterial infection 363 Baeolidia nodosa 427 Bali-polyp 307 Bartholomea annulata 371 budding in 372 Basal laceration 118 Basitrichs 104 Beaded Sea Anemone 388 Berghia 371, 426-427 Berthelinia 437 Bilateral symmetry 100 Bingman, Craig 444 Biology of Soft Corals...

Scientific Name Bartholomea annulata

Colour Clear brown, gray, or pale blue with white bands on tentacles. Distinguishing Characteristics Long stringy, often curly tentacles with pale bands on them. Similar Species Similar to Aiptasia but grows larger and has distinctively longer tentacles with numerous swollen bands. Also could be confused with Capnea lucida, which has bead-like vessicles on the tentacles. Natural Habitat Lives in mud, sand or gravel in shallow water, often in large numbers. Also found attached to the underside...

Scientific Name Briareum asbestinum

Common Name Corky Sea Fingers, Encrusting Gorgonian, Briareum Distinguishing Characteristics Briareum is a beautiful soft coral from the Caribbean that may form flat crusts, knobby crusts, upright branches like a gorgonian but without a horny skeleton, or it may encrust and kill other gorgonians, using the skeleton for support. The appearance is similar to the star polyps from the Indo Pacific, see earlier comments on the re-classification of these. The polyps, which often have a white streak...

Purchasing Healthy Specimens

When acquiring zoanthids there are a few things one should be on the look-out for. Avoid any colonies that have polyps with brown, jelly-like masses on them. This is a protozoan infection that can rapidly spread throughout an aquarium see volume one . Zoanthids with this condition have usually been weakened in some way, making them susceptible to infection. The polyps themselves should be open and brightly coloured with no bleaching evident. If the polyps are dark brown in colour and lack...

Predators Pests Commensals And Good Guys

Reef Pest Snails

Aquarists often wonder whether a new creature they observe is a beneficial organism or a potential trouble maker. In this chapter we want to provide a broad overview of some of the creatures that make reef keeping difficult, some that make it easy, and some that just make reef keeping interesting. Reef aquarists know that certain types of polychaete worms can wreak havoc on other invertebrates. We discuss two particularly nasty worms here, and refer the reader to volume one for additional...

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Malcom Shick, University of Maine, for supporting our work and for sharing his extensive reference list of publications about anemones Terry Siegel for sharing his ideas, speculations as well as networking skill, and for his photographs of Plexaurella reproducing and the strange Sinu-laria that forms hard twigs yes it really did make them Elliot Sprung for his expertise with Photoshop, patience and perfectionism. This book would not have been possible to complete without your effort and...

Heterodactyla Hemprichii

Heteractis Malu

This large H. malu photographed on a reef slope in the Solomon Islands has elongate tentacles with corkscrew shape, which makes it really look a lot like Macrodactyla doreensis. J. Sprung Another H. malu with long tentacles that make it closely resemble Macrodactyla doreensis. J. Sprung

The Identification and Care of Anemones Kept in Aquariums

Phylum Cnidaria, Class Anthozoa Subclass Hexacorallia Genera Arach nan thus, Anthoactis, Cerianthus, and Pachyceri-anthus are tropical genera Common Name Tube anemone, Cerianthus anemone Colour Brown, purple, green, pink, blue Distinguishing Characteristics Lives in soft grayish tube partially buried in the sand or mud bottom. The tube is made from fired nematocysts. Short tentacles around the mouth. Long tapering tentacles on rest of oral disc. Often has commensal phoronid worms on tube....

Scientific Name Phyllodiscus semoni Kwietniewski 1897

Colour Mottled brown green and lavender with white column and tentacles. The overall colour of the anemone is dark greenish brown because of the mass of finelv branched vessicles. Distinguishing Characteristics Looks like a clump of dark seaweed. White tentacles and column are hidden by a distinctive mass of dark, highly branched vesicles containing symbiotic algae True tentacles emerge at night when the anemone feeds. Similar Species Resembles Actinodendron. The night vs. day extension of...

Scientific Name Pseudocorynactis sp

Common Name White Ball Anemone, Orange Ball Anemone, Fiji Corallimorph Colour Column red orange, maroon, or brown, having clear slightly pigmented tentacles with white tips or orange tips. Distinguishing Characteristics Largest of the family Coral-limorphidae. Pedal disc to at least 10 cm. Oral disc to at least 10 cm with tentacle span to at least 20 cm. Tentacles numerous with ball tips. Tentacles expanded both day and night. Column thick but soft. Tentacles EXTREMELY sticky. Similar Species...

Scientific Name Discosoma Paradiscosoma neglecta Duchassaing and Michelotti 1860

Colour Green or brown with darker and lighter mottling Distinguishing Characteristics Large projecting tongues at edge of oral disc. Small papillae on oral disc. Disc diameter to 11 cm. Disc may lay flat against rock or cup up by folding up the edge of the oral disc. Similar Species Most similar to D. carlgreni, but differs from it primarily on the basis of D. carlgreni having larger tentacles on the oral disc while D. neglecta has larger tongues projecting from the margin of the disc....

Nephtheids

Nephthea and Capnella species readily reproduce by dropping daughter colonies formed by natural separation of branch tips. Given strong light and water motion these colonies rapidly grow and produce offspring with little intervention required. The aquarist may speed up the process by cutting branches with a scissors. The cuttings may be attached to small stones or dead coral branches with cyanoacrylate gel. Star Polyps, Clove Polyps and Anthelia These soft corals grow like algae, rapidly...

Scientific Name Swiftia exserta

Common Name Orange Sea Fan, Soft Red Sea Fan, Orange Tree Colour Orange with red polyps Distinguishing Characteristics Bushy large gorgonian, sometimes fan shaped but with loose branches. Large red polyps are distinctive. Natural Habitat Caribbean. Medium depth to deep reefs with high profile, deepwater hardbottoms, and on deep shipwrecks. Not usually found shallower than 17 m 50 feet . Occurs in clear or slightly turbid water with strong current. Aquarium Care Not very hardy in captivity but...

Adaptations Of Animals

Invertebrates Stone and False Corals, Colonial Anemones. Engel-bert Pfriem Verlag, Wuppertal, germany, 134 pp. Wilkerson, F. P., Muller-Parker, G. and Muscatine, L. 1983 Temporal patterns of cell division in natural populations of endosymbiotic algae. Limnol. Oceanogr28, 1009-1014. Wilkerson. F. P. and Muscatine, L. 1984 Uptake and assimilation of dissolved inorganic nitrogen by a symbiotic sea anemone. Proc. R. Soc. Lond., B, 221, 71-86. Wilkerson, F. P. and Trench, R. K....

Lebrunia Coralligens

Lebrunia coralligens in its typical habitat imbedded in coral P. Humann adapted to indirect light and will retract from intense direct illumination. This anemone has a potent sting that aquarists should be wary of. It also may wander and injure corals in an aquarium, so we do not recommend it for a reef aquarium with prized specimens that could be injued or lost. It is not entirely out of the question to include it in a reef aquarium, but use caution Reproduction Pedal laceration and...

Tankmates

When adding zoanthids to an aquarium or adding tankmates to an aquarium with zoanthids one should be aware of a few things. There are a few fish that will pick at and even eat zoanthids, the most notable being certain species of butterfly fish such as Raccoon butterflyfish Chaetodon lunula . These normally prey on anemones and will often pick at zoanthids enough to prevent them from opening, eventually resulting in their death. Filefish Monacanthidae and sharpnose puffers Tetraodontidae are...

Family Alcyoniidae Lamouroux 1812

The family Alcyoniidae includes soft corals in which the polyps are contained in fleshy, membranous, or lobed masses. Polyps are dimorphic in some genera and monomorphic in others, and they are mostly evenly distributed, though they may be confined to a polyparium or capitulum that is separate from a polypless stalk. There are approximately twenty genera worldwide. See chapter one for more information on colony organization and shapes. Formerly known as Cladiella in aquarium literature....

Pseudopterogorgia Elizabethae

External Fertilization

Gorgonians are predominantly arborescent in nature, though a few single unbranched stem species do occur they are subdivided into two main groupings determined by the nature of their central supporting structure. In the Scleraxonia this is called an axis and in the Holaxonia, the central core. This structure is a product of the coenenchyme, and as such is produced by the colony, not the polyps. The Scleraxonia have a central axis composed of horny material called gorgonin, and usually, fused...

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Colonies with this shape have been given the name Sinularia brassica, but some taxonomists consider that genus synonymous with S. dura. We believe there are two species, but that they both have forms that look like the other, depending on the lighting and water flow conditions. Sinularia brassica, from what we can tell, forms thickened upright branches in the middle of the colony, while S. to tends to extend its margin into branches, with a few thin branches forming upright in the middle. The...

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Chelidonura Varians

Chelidonura varians approaching the flatworm Convolutriloba. J. Sprung In the blink of an eye Chelidonura varians slurps up the flatworm. J. Sprung We regret to report that Chelidonura varians are not very long lived. We have seen them lay nests of eggs, which they spin like a cocoon, but we have not been able to raise any young. It is possible that one or more of the numerous species in this genus would exhibit better survival in captivity, or that a captive culture effort could be made to...

How To Acclimate An Anemone

The hybrid clownfish known as Amphiprion leucokranos, here living among the tentacles of Heter-actis crispa in a bed of encrusting soft coral, Sinularia sp. Fish with A. leucokranos characteristics are produced by crosses between Amphiprion chrysopterus and either A sandaracinos or A. perid-eraion. This fish is likely the offspring of a cross between Amphiprion chrysopterus and A. sandaracinos. This specimen is unusual because it has a complete headbar, an uncommon feature that makes it look...

Genus Capnella

Colonies are arborescent but some species may also be lobed. The lobes tend to be crowded with incurved polyps Mather and Bennett, 1993 . Sclerites on the interior are often globular, while those on the exterior of the branches and stalk tend to be shorter capstans, consisting of two distinct paits. There is an externally projecting, leaflike part and a more spindle-like basal portion that may or may not have high warts or root-like outgrowths Verseveldt, 1977 . There are currently 17 species...

Zoanthus Sociatus

Colour Brown usually, often with green oral disc. Sometimes mostly green, sometimes with white marbling or white stripes. The shade of brown ranges from straw colored to chocolate, often with slight reddish hue like cinnamon. Distinguishing Features Gigantic polyps compared to other members of the genus. Polyps to at least 5 cm 2 in. diameter. Otherwise quite like other members of the genus. Similar Species Protopalythoa variabilis from the Caribbean wlien found in deep water may resemble this...

What Are Mesenterial Filaments

The different types, suffice it to say that some are specialized for capturing food items e.g. spirocysts while others play defensive or aggressive roles e.g. homotrichs see den Hartog, 1980, for a complete description of the various types . Nematocysts can be found in tentacles, the swollen tips of tentacles acrospheres , the mesenterial filaments and the body column, and are used as taxo-nomic characters for identification purposes see den Hartog, 1980 . Figure 3.2 Some types of nematocysts...

Scientific Name Heteractis aurora

Common Name Sand Anemone, Beaded Sea Anemone, Mat Anemone, Aurora Anemone, Button Anemone Colour Usually grayish white with white banding on the central part of the oral disc around the mouth. Sometimes greenish, rarely purple. Distinguishing Characteristics Beaded tentacles. Heteractis aurora seldom contains large adult clownfish or sexually mature pairs. It is thus termed a nursery anemone Fautin and Allen, 1992 . Similar Species Quite similar to Phymantbus species, which also have beaded...

Similar Species Parazoanthus spp

Natural Habitat Epizoantbus spp. are found in close association with sponges, hydroids and pagurid crabs. Several species are found growing witliin the body wall of hexactinellid sponges, encrusting hydroids and covering the carapace of deep water pagurid crabs. The zoanthids cover the carapace of the crab, eventually dissolving it awray, completely enclosing the crab, a condition knowrn as carcinoecium Hyman, 1940 . Not all species are exclusively associated with a host sponge or other...

Defensive and other notable structures Acontia and mesenterial filaments

We just mentioned that these thread-like processes, which serve primarily a digestive function, can also be used for defense against predators or other anemones encroaching on the territory. The extrusion of these whitish threads through the mouth or column wrall of an anemone is usually a sign of physical distubance such as rough handling, excessive wrater flow, inadequate water flow, or stinging by a neighboring invertebrate, for example. It can also be a sign that something is wrong about...

Heteractis Magnifica

A lovely pale green H. magnifica with Amphiprion perideraion. clownfish such as A. chrysopterus with it. The anemone requires less food when clownfish are present. With inadequate lighting this anemone shrinks and eventually dies. Reproduction Asexual reproduction is occasional in the natural environment J. Sprung, pers. obs. and probably occurs by longitudinal fission. Sexual reproduction not reported in captivity. Scientific Name Heteractis magnifica Quoy and Gaimard, 1833 Common Name...

Scientific Name Thalassianthus aster

Common Name None Colour Grayish white Distinguishing Characteristics Looks like a cluster of soft coral polyps, like Anthelia, Xenici or Cluvuluria. Natural Habitat Reef flats or back reef margins among rock rubble. Aquarium Care Strong light and water motion. This is a pest species that can be difficult to eradicate. It stings and kills many coral species. Nevertheless it is a beautiful anemone, worthy of a small display by itself. Reproduction Asexual reproduction is typical, via longitudinal...

Scientific Name Palythoa spp

Colour Golden brown, to cream, polyps often darker, will darken in aquaria with inadequate lighting. Sometimes with fluorescent green or yellow tentacles. Distinguishing Features Thick encrusting growth coenenchyma embedded with sand grains polyps open during the day and night zooxanthellate single sphincter muscle few mesenteries 15-20 mesenteries not mesh-like Mather and Bennett, 1993 . Palythoa mammillosa forms thicker, more cushion-like growths than the other species.

Scientific Name Eunicea spy

Colour Usually pale gray with gray or brown polyps, but may be tan, yellow, or rarely, purple. Distinguishing Characteristics Sclerites in the axial sheath are mostly spindles, or blunt spindles and capstans, the latter being more typical of thicker branches and the main stem. These sclerites are often purple, sometimes violet or nearly colourless. Eunicea species usually have characteristic knobby projections for calyces that afford an Acropora- ike appearance w hen the polyps are closed....

Scientific Name Cavernularia obesa

Colour Brown or light tan with white tipped polyps. Sclerites of Cavernularia. Scale bar is 0.05 mm. After Williams, 1993. Distinguishing Characteristics Soft clavate club shaped colony. Primary polyp forms a muscular peduncle, like the column and foot of a sea anemone, which buries and anchors the coral in the substrate. The upper portion of the primary polyp forms a reduced axis. Secondary polyps are arranged around the entire length of the primary polyp. Sclerites are usually smooth needles...

Scientific Name Rhodactis cf inchoata Carlgren 1943

Common Name Hairy Mushroom Anemone, Tonga Blue Mushroom Colour Blue, turquoise, purple, rusty red-orange. Distinguishing Characteristics In large polyps the tentacles on the oral disc are highly branched and look like stony coral polyps. A distinct type of tentacle at the disc margin forms a row of toes This species does not have a naked margin, but it sometimes curls the margin underneath the oral disc so that the tentacles are not apparent. Similar Species lliere are several related species...

Family Anthothelidae

Scientific Name Diodogorgia nodulifera Common Name Finger Sea Fan. Yellow Finger, Red Finger Colour Two colour morphs. One is bright orange-yellow with red calyces and white polyps. The other is deep red with red calyces and white polyps. Distinguishing Characteristics Brittle breaks easily. Does not grow very large, usually about 10 cm 4 in tall, up to 25 cm 10 in , and generally not more than 25 cm 10 in across. The sclerites on the interior are reddish. Not photosynthetic. Similar Species...

Scientific Name Lobophytum spy

Sclerites of Lobophytum, Scale bar is 0.2 mm. After Williams, 1993. Common Name Devil s hand, finger leather, Lobophyton Please note that the correct spelling of the genus is Lobophytum. Aquarists often confuse the spelling, changing the ending urn to on because of the spelling of the closely related Sarcophyton. Colour Pale brown or gray with white tentacled polyps. Occasionally yellow or greenish. Distinguishing Characteristics This genus is very closely related to Sarcophyton, and some...

Scientific Name Scleronephthya sp

Pink Orange cauliflower Colour Pink, orange, yellow, red Distinguishing Characteristics Contracted colonies can have a rather fleshy and lobular appearance with short stalks from which the branches extend. When expanded it is obvious that the polyps Scleronephthya sp. J. C. Delbeek Scleronephthya sp. J. C. Delbeek Scleronephthya sp. Note the sclerites. A. Storace

Plexaurella Dichotoma

Plexaurella Dichotoma

J. Sprung Two quite different species of Plexaurella. The lower specimen has round pores like Pseudoplex-aura, but it does not have purple sclerites inside. J. Sprung Closeup of Plexaurella, showing the typical slit-pore-like calyces J. Sprung Common Name Corky sea fingers, Slit-pore sea rod Colour Light brown, almost yellow, with darker brown polyps. Distinguishing Characteristics Plexaurella species have a corky appearance when the polyps are retracted. P....

Scientific Name Chironephthya sy

Common Name among aquarists Dendronephthya Colour Pink, purple, red, yellow, orange. Distinguishing Characteristics Branchy soft corals with appearance somewhere between gorgonians and Dendronephthya, with brightly colored spicules and polyps. In some species drooping branches arise from an upright stalk, in others the entire colony is upright Gosliner, et a ., 1996 . The branches tend to be rather stout and end abruptly, there is no tapering off as in other soft corals. The polyps are located...

Stichodactyla Gigantea

In the Solomon Islands Julian Sprung found this specimen of possible bud on its oral disc. What is this swollen knob of tissue with tentacles Could it be the product of an injury an abnormal growth of tissue or is it a rare example of budding J. Sprung This form of budding occurs in Stichodactyla gigantea and is probably the same basic technique shown in the photo of S. mertensii. A portion of tissue on the oral disc or upper margin of the column becomes differentiated, develops a pedal disc,...

Photosynthetic Gorgonians

Whereas the leather corals of the genera Sinularia and Sarco-phyton are the dominant photosynthetic soft corals in the In do-Pacific region, with just a few photosynthetic gorgonians there for good measure, in the Caribbean the photosynthetic gorgonians rule the scene, and there are no leather corals. Caribbean gorgonians are very popular with European hobbyists since they are hardy, beautiful, and include many varied species. In North America they have not been made as readily available as in...

Coral Diseases

We want to discuss some types of coral disease that we did not cover in volume one. One is rapid tissue necrosis, which is actually a group of similar diseases, and the other is gaping, for lack of a better word, a disease that affects large polyped corals. Gaping is manifest by the wide opening of the mouth in large polypecl corals. The mouth stays open while the coral tissue is deflated. Looking into the mouth one can see the mesenteries and the septa. As the condition worsens, the mouth...

Mesenterial Filaments

To allow for greater survivability of large clam populations growing within their colonies by slowing pr dation on clams by sea stars Patton, et ai, 1991 the sea stars presumably get hot feet Other corallimorphs have been observed to release mesenterial filaments from the mouth and distal tentacles too. Hamner and Dunn 1980 found that Rbodactis boivesii extruded mesenterial This deep-sea corallimorpharian, Corallimorphus profundus, photographed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, has mesenterial...

Coenenchyme Gastrovascular tubes of polyps

Lines the inside of the tentacles, pharynx, mesenteries, gastrovascular cavity and extends through the colony via the gastrodermal tubes. The gastrodermal cells are where zooxanthellae are located. Between these two layers lies the mesogloea consisting of a gelatinous matrix and this is where the sclerites spicules occur. Within the polyps it forms a very thin layer, but forms the majority of coenenchyme of the colony outside of the polyp fig. 1-2 . Within the mesogloea exist the gastrovascular...

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Microscope Coenenchyme Gorgonians

Jose Mendez's outdoor aquarium tor anemones. Macrodactyla doreensis and Stichodactyla haddoni thrive in this aquarium with Amphiprion polymnus, Dascyllus spp., Protopalythoa, and hermit crabs. The mangroves provide some shade. This aquarium uses the technique described on page 353. middle diagram. It has a large sump located in the shade with a heater when necessary to effect some temperature control J. Sprung GlOSSary acontium pi. acontia - the middle lobe of the mesenteries in some anemones...

Scientific Name Siphonogorgia sp

Common Name among aquarists Dendronephthya Colour Red, yellow, orange, pink, purple. Distinguishing Characteristics Arborescent soft corals with appearance like gorgonians, with brightly colored sclerites and polyps. Rigid, but able to expand with water or deflate somewhat. No central axis. Branches are formed from packed spindles. These sclerites afford a rough texture, though expanded colonies are somewhat slippery. Polyps are completely retractile into the branches. Non-photosynthetic....

Scientific Name Muricea spp

Common Name Spiny Sea Fan, Spiny gorgonian Colour gray, brown, golden brown or orange with brown polyps. Natural Habitat Reefs and hardbottom areas especially, but also occasional among seagrass and in bays. Shallow or deep water. Distinguishing Characteristics The several common Muricea species all have spiny projecting calyces that afford a rough texture when handled. Colonies may grow in one plane or may be bushy. M. atlantica, M. laxa, and M. muricata are common species in aquaria. Muricea...

Scientific Name Discosoma Paradiscosomatj carlgreni Watzl 1922

Colour Turquoise, Green, Blue, Purple, and rarely fluorescent orange Distinguishing Characteristics Small pimply tentacles on oral disc, small tongue-like projections at edge of disc. Average size disc is 5 cm, but this species attains 10 cm diameter. Large specimens have well developed branched discal tentacles. Similar Species There are some Indo-Pacific species that resemble D. carlgreni Discosoma neglecta is easily confused with this species since both have the tongues at the edge of the...

Scientific Name Alcyonium Parerythropodium spp

Common Name Encrusting leather coral Colour Yellow or brown Distinguishing Characteristics Encrusting thin sheets with long polyps that resemble those of leather corals Sarcophyton spp. The sheets are extremely soft and fragile with consistency like Xenia and Anthelia. Strong pungent odor when lifted out of water Natural Habitat Alcyo n in m Pa reryth ropod in m fit I vu m ft i Ivu m is common in the Red Sea while Alcyonium Parerythropodium membranaceum occurs in the Indo-Pacific. Wide ranging,...

Spectacular Reef Aquariums from Around the World

In Volume One we featured some photographs of reef aquariums from around the world. This was a popular section of the book, so we decided to do it again in Volume Two. We were amused to discover that the appearance of reef tanks has markedly transformed in the few years since our first book was published. The trend lately is to have a reef aquarium full of small-polyped stony corals. Volume Two is about soft corals and anemones, so the aquarium photographs here tend to emphasize the wrong...

Scientific Name Pterogorgia spp

Common Names Sea Blades, Angular Sea Whip, Cactus Gorgonian, Purple Ribbon, Yellow Ribbon. Colour Purple, brown, gray, yellow Distinguishing Characteristics flattened branches with polyps extending only from the edges. There are three common species, P. anceps, P. guadalupensis, and P. citrina, and a possible fourth species. Natural Habitat Prefers hardbottoms in back-reef areas, near shore, or among seagrass. P. anceps and P guadalupensis are seldom found up on the reef itself. Aquarium Care...

Jaubert Plenum Filter

Natural Systems for Maintaining Anemones Top In the Jaubert System a perforated plenum isolates a body ot water within the deep gravel bottom substrate. A screen located about one and a halt inches 4 cm above the plenum prevents burrowing organisms from digging deep enough to expose the plenum. Strong light, live rock, and water circulation via air stones or pumps are used. See volume one for additional information. Middle in this variation the same plenum system is used, but water drains off...

Rapid Tissue Necrosis RTN

Recently as more and more aquarists are growing stony corals, particularly the small polyped stonies SPS there have been reports of rapidly progressing diseases that cause the coral tissue to disintegrate. Some hobbyists observing this for the first time confuse the condition with bleaching, which is just a loss of pigment or photosynthetic zooxanthellae, a less serious ailment. The rapid loss of tissue leaving behind white skeleton is not bleaching, it is death of the coral due to a pathogen....

What Are Some Pests In Natrual Habbitats

What Are Some Pests Natrual Habbitats

This non-photosynthetic gorgonian was growing on a reef wall in the Solomon Islands, where it had ample opportunity to filter phyto-plankton and organic detritus from the passing water column. Note marine snow trapped on its surface. While such filter feeding gorgonians grow rapidly in the natural environment, the shortage of their special food makes them difficult to grow in aquariums. J. Sprung bottom from which polyps then arise e.g. Anthelia spp., Stereo-soma spp. or a combination of these...

Pumping Xenia Coral

Common Name Cespitularia, Blue Xenia Similar Species Xenia, An the i a, EJJlatournaria , Alcyonium. Cespitularia injirmata is not the only species, but it may be the common type imported. Natural Habitat like Xenia, encrusting dead coral skeletons and among algae, usually in shallow water with good water movement, either surge or tidal currents. Most colonies are imported Distinguishing Characters Cespitularia has an appearance that is somewhere between Xenia and Alcyonium. Colonies may be...

Flatworms

Commensal acoel flatworms are common hitchhikers on Disco soma spp. from Indonesia and elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific region. The genus Waminoa is the most common representative see Winsor, 1990, for a review of tropical Australian species . Nudibranchs of the genus Cheli-donuraaiQ effective natural predators of Waminoa and other acoel flatworms. See chapter eleven for more details about them. These flatworms are not especially harmful to their host, but they do effectively block light when they...

Scientific Name Protopalythoa spp

Common Names Button Polyps, Polyp Rock Colour Brown usually, often with an iridescent green oral disc sometimes mostly green sometimes with white marbling or white stripes the shade of brown ranges from straw coloured to chocolate. Distinguishing Features Body wall sand encrusted tentacles thin and pointed polyps of uniform colour in most cases numerous mesenteries gt 60 occur as solitary polyps or connected by a thin coenenchyma Mather and Bennett, 1993 . Similar Species Zoanthns spp. are...

Scientific Name Muriceopsis flavida

Common Name Feather Gorgonian, Sea Plume, Purple Bush Colour purple, gray, brown, yellow Distinguishing Characteristics Muriceopsis flavida appears at first like a type of Pseudopterogorgici because its form is also pinnate feather-like . Upon closer inspection one can see that the branches are thicker, rounder, and more robust than most Pseudopterogorgia species. In addition, the texture is rough, almost as rough as a Muricea species, because of projecting spicules around the calyces. A rare...

Biological Algae Control

The control of problematic species of algae is probably the most troublesome hurdle for new and veteran reef aquarists alike. We covered the topic quite thoroughly in Volume One, but we have some additional information to offer here, some in the captions and some in the text. Dinoflagellates have coated the surface of this gorgonian, Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae, preventing it from opening. Such blooms can smother and kill gorgonians and other soft corals. These blooms can persist for several...

Scientific Name Neospongodes sp

Formerly Lemnalia spp. in aquarium literature see Wilkens, 1990 . Lemnalia is a valid genus, but it differs from Neospongodes in several ways. See previous description. Common Name Broccoli coral, Cauliflower coral, Lemnalia Colour Whitish, brown, yellow, purplish, yellow with purple or reel spicules. Sometimes green. Distinguishing Characteristics Spicules are conspicuous on all branches. Colonies seldom larger than 10 inches tall. Similar Species Very similar to Nephthea and Capnella,, but...

Scientific Name Coelogorgia sp

Colour Pale brown, lavender or pinkish with white or brown polyps. Distinguishing Characteristics A root-like stolon attaches the branches to the substrate. New polyps arise from stalks, and bud off of other polyps. According to the literature the polyps contract but are not retractile, but this may be an artifact observed in preserved specimens only, since live colonies seem to be able to retract the polyps into the calyces pers. obs. and G. Williams, pers. comm. . Colonies are composed of...

Heteractis Malu Habitat

Heteractis Malu

Heteractis malu in the natural habitat in the Solomon Islands. This large specimen has an appearance quite like H. aurora, and may be a hybrid. J. Sprung This is the natural habitat, embedded in a sandy coral rubble bottom in shallow water with bright light. Note how this specimen has some beads on the tentacles. Is this Heteractis malu or H. aurora This appearance suggests a close relationship with H. aurora or possible hybridization. J. Sprung

Scientific Name Pachyclavularia Briareum violacea

Common Name Brown Star Polyp, Green Star polyp green form Colour Brown, gray, or green polyps with white, green, or yellow centers. The encrusting sheet is purple or reddish. Distinguishing Characteristics Purple encrusting sheets with brown or green polyps. The 1 16 to 1 8 inch centers of the polyps are bright white, green, or yellow. When the polyps close, the projecting calyces are approximately 25 larger than those of the just previously described Briareum sp. Polyps have some indistinct...

Scientific Name Ricordea yuma Carlgren 1900

Common Name Hairv Mushroom, Ricordea, Rhodactis Colour LJsually brown or green. Some localities such as Tonga Distinguishing Features Tentacles with rounded or clavate tips look like small berries arranged in a radial pattern over the surface of the oral disc. Tentacles never have distinctly differentiated acrospheres at tips nor pimple-like projections off of the tentacles. Marginal tentacles often more elongate than discal tentacles, though sometimes a few discal tentacles become elongate in...

Scientific Name Zoanthus spp

Common Names Button Polyps, Sand Polyps, zoanthids, Zoanthus sociatus Colour Often two-toned. Come in virtually ail colours, including red, pink, orange, and blue, but the most typical combinations are brown and green, or green and yellow. Different colour varieties and species may be placed adjacent to one another, creating a pansy-patch effect Distinguishing Characteristics Body wall not sand encrusted tentacles short and blunt sphincter muscle split in two oral disc and tentacles often...

Scientific Name Xenia spp

Common Name Pulse corals, Pumping Xenia, Pump-end Xenia, Waving hand Polyps Colour White, gray, brown. Rarely green or blue. Distinguishing Characteristics Encrusting or stalked, the monomorphic polyps are non-retractile. Colonies are usually quite soft, but larger, stalked varieties may be tougher. In some species, the colonies are very slimy e.g. X. cf. mucosa and can produce lots of m u c us G o s 1 i ner et a1, 1996 Xen ia u m belta ta is an uncommon and very welcome guest to aquariums,...

Scientific Name Discosoma spp

Common Name Mushroom Anemone, Elephant Ear, Metallic Mushroom Colour Highly variable. Blue, Orange, Brown, Red, Green. With stripes of varying thickness or spots of varying diameter. Distinguishing Characteristics Smooth surface, occasionally with numerous round papilla-like tentacles. Similar Species The most common types available to aquarists i.e. blue, red, and green pinwheel-striped types are colour morphs of the same species which we have seen called D. nummiforme, but we hesitate to say...

Scientific Name Gorgonia ventalina G flabellum and G mariae

Polyps brown. Distinguishing Characteristics Gorgonia ventalina is the common variety of sea fan, with the branching flattened in the same plane as the fan. It is typically purple, but can also be pale gray or yellow. G. flabellum is distinguished by branches flattened perpendicular to the plane of the fan, and it is more rigid. It may be any of the aforementioned colors, but yellow is most typical. A third species, Gorgonia mariae, has branches that are...

Scientific Name Dendronephthya spp

The generic name comes from the Greek, dendron, a tree, and Nepbthea, a related genus that is superficially similar Williams, 1993 . Common Name Strawberry corals, Cauliflower coral, Dendrophyta, Dendronephyta. The latter common names are common contraction mangling of the genus name as accomplished by aquarists. Colour Pink, purple, red, yellow, orange sclerite and branchlet tip colour contrasting sharply with the paler branches and trunk. Distinguishing Characteristics Branchy soft corals...

Pedal Laceration

Pedal laceration is a fairly simple and common means of asexual reproduction. As the polyp slowly moves over the substratum small sections of the pedal base become torn and are left behind. These small pieces of tissue then quickly form into miniature versions of the mother polyp. Pedal laceration has been observed in CoraIlimorphus, Corynactis, Discosoma, Rhodactis, and Ricordea and most likely occurs in the other genera too. Pseudo-corynactis normally reproduces asexually via longitudinal...

Scientific Name Tubipora musica Linnaeus 1758

Pipe-organ coral Colour Red to maroon skeleton with white, gray, brown or green polyps. Distinguishing Characteristics Skeleton is distinctive, being composed of long tubes with connecting terraces. The polyps of the different forms may easily be confused with the different Claimlaria spp. and Pacbyclavularia Briareum spp. One form that lacks prominent pinnules has polyps essentially identical to those of the stony coral Alveopora, distinguishable only by the fact...

Aiptasia

Aquarists are always asking us how to get rid of the glassrose anemone, Aiptasia. A number of products have been marketed to help eradicate these pest anemones, but lately advanced aquarists have been investigating the use of nudibranchs that feed on Aiptasia. Recently there has been some excited discussion among advanced aquarists regarding a nuciibranch, Berghia vernicicornis, that eats Aiptasia anemones. While other Aiptasia-e'dt'mg nudibranchs have been reported see The Reef Aquarium Vol....

Scientific Name Discosoma [Rhodactis sanctithomae Duchassaing and Michelotti 1860

At present, this species can be classified either as Discosoma or Rhodactis, given the ambiguity of some its taxonomic characters den Hartog, pers, comm. Colour Turquoise, brown, green, blue. Distinguishing Characteristics Encrusting colonies of many polyps crowded next to each other with the edges of the oral disc curved upward. Disc diameter to 14 cm. The outer margin of the disc is smooth and naked free of tentacles while the inner part is full of tentacles that come in a variety of forms....

Hydroids

There are several species of photosynthetic hydroids that sometimes proliferate in reef aquariums. These creatures are actually quite beautiful, and they are sometimes confused with soft corals because of their feathery polyps, brown colour and growth on stolon-like structures. Despite their beauty, many aquarists hate them The reason is that these hydroids have a powerful sting that Photosynthetic stinging hydroids that can grow like algae. J. C. Delbeek These look like hydroids but are...

Hermit Crabs

Probably the best herbivores for controlling algae in the reef aquarium are hermit crabs see Shiemer, 1994 . There are numerous small species that can be put to work in your aquarium to keep it free from problems with fast-growing algae. In order to maintain your hermit crab population be sure to provide a selection of empty shells for them to move into as they grow in size. Although we mention that these are herbivorous hermit crabs, they do eat other foods and will act as scavengers of...

Scientific Name Isis hippuris

Distinguishing Characteristics Axis composed of alternating nodelike segments of gorgonin and calcium carbonate fused sclerites . Similar Species Superficially resembles Plexaura species from the Caribbean, but the skeleton axis is entirely different. Natural Habitat Indo-Pacific reefs in shallow water with bright light and surge. Aquarium Care Delicate in shipping but hardy in captivity when given strong water motion and strong light. Attach to rock with underwater epoxy. Reproduction...

Similar Species Protopalythoa see Protopalythoa for differences

Natural Habitat Zoanthus spp. occupy several different niches on and near coral reefs. The most typical location for many species is the intertidal zone on rocky shores, particularly along channels where there is a swift tidal current. Intertidal species are often exposed at low tide. In some areas they may also extend into tide pools. Some species live in shallow backreef, lagoon, or Zoanthus sociatus is commonly exposed at low tide. J, Sprung These Zoanthus sociatusare fully exposed to the...

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t . - - - s - v a Tjr fi t . - - - s - v a Tjr fi It must be understood that with respect to soft corals the taxonomy is presently in a state of confusion. Of course anyone working on taxonomy in a group of living organisms would probably get a kick out of the previous statement since taxonomy in general is full of problems, but here we concentrate on the messy state of the soft corals . Seemingly different soft corals can be forms of the same species since many soft corals vary greatly as a...

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Corals, and palythine and palythinol from zoanthids, are substances that absorb ultraviolet light. These have recently been synthesized and patented for use in sun-tan lotions, outdoor paints and plastics Sammarco, 1996 . Soft coral secondary metabolites are also being investigated as anti-foulants for wooden fishing boats in Indonesia. Boring organisms greatly reduce the life-span of these boats and this application has shown promising results Sammarco, 1996 . Although the majority of the work...

Scientific Name Erythropodium caribaeorum Duchassaing Michelotti 1860

Common Name Encrusting Gorgonian, Briareum Distinguishing Characteristics Erythropodium is very similar in appearance to Briareum, and the two are often confused. Some distinguishing visual features include coloring Briareum tends to be purplish gray or brown when the polyps are closed, whereas Erythropodium is pale brown like coffee with a lot of cream in it, texture Erythropodium is quite smooth when the polyps are contracted, whereas Briareum usually appears bumpy, and finally, polyp...