Common Name: Cespitularia, Blue Xenia
Colour: white, blue, brown, reddish
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 from Kenya, j
Distinguishing Characters: Cespitularia has an appearance that is somewhere between Xenia and Alcyonium. Colonies may be several inches tall and arborescent like Alcyonium, and the polyps may pulse like Xenia. When branches touch a substrate they attach to it and encrust it. Such branches may then separate from the original colony. The typical colour is bright blue-white, which is unlike any similar soft coral. Polyps are non-retractile.
Aquarium Care: This species ships poorly, and is delicate. We clo not recommend it to the beginner. It does grow rapidly, however, once established. Cespitularia likes bright light and strong water motion. Trace elements are essential for long-term success with this species.
Reproduction: Aquarists propagate this species by cutting off branches with a scissors and attaching them with cyanoaciylate glue, or allowing it to encrust neighboring rocks and then dividing the colonies with a blade. Little is known about sexual reproduction in this species but they likely exhibit the common Xeniidae traits of internal brooding of planulae and colonies are probably dioecious.
Scientific Name: Heteroxenia spp.
Common Name: Pulse corals, Pumping Xenia, Pump-end Xenia. Waving hand Polyps
Colour: White, gray, brown. Rarely green or blue. Distinguishing Characteristics: The most distinctive feature of this
The siphonozooids are what looks like pores between the larger auto-zooid polyps of Heteroxenia spp. J. Sprung
Heteroxenia sp. J. Sprung
genus is the fact that it is dimorphic, possessing two types of polyps autozooids and siphonozooids (see chapter one). However, the smaller siphonozooids tend to develop later as the colony grows.
Similar Species: Xenia, see next description.
Natural Habitat: Xenia and Heteroxenia spp. can be found in a variety of reef habitats, from brightly illuminated reef flats where they may be exposed at low tide to reef slopes where the light is bright but more indirect. There are also species that live in lagoon environments. Where they occur they generally are exposed to strong tidal currents for a portion of the day.
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