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 with brightly colored spicules and polyps. Able to expand tremendously with water or deflate into a sorry-looking blob. Spicules afford a rough texture. Not photosynthetic.
Similar Species: Similar to Scleronephthya, Nepbthyigorgia, and Stereo nepb thy a.
Natural Habitat: Lives in areas with strong tidal currents Of
It Is simply not true that all Dendronephthya spp. must be kept in the shade. While some species are found more typically under ledges or in deep water, this Dendronephthya (Spongodes) sp. is growing in full sunlight on a reef top near Bequa. Fiji. Large multicoloured stands were common here in areas with strong tidal flow. J. Sprung
If you wish to try the challenge of keeping Dendronephthya spp., be sure to choose a colony that is well attached to a rock base that will allow it to be easily epoxied to the tank walls or tied to the reef structure projecting out into strong water flow. J. Sprung
Peter Wilkens stirs the gravel bottom with a glass rod to kick up detritus to feed the soft corals. He uses this technique to feed non-photosynthetic species such as Scleronephthya and Dendronephthya. J. Sprung
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