Giant Black Coral Whip (Cirrhipathes sp.)

Also known as Cirripathes sp., Whip Coral, Wire Coral, Spiral Coral, Spiral Wire Coral, Black Coral Sea Whip, Spiral Sea Whip, Spiral Whip Coral, Black Wire-coral, Deep-water Wire Coral, Coiled Coral.

Description

Also known as Cirripathes sp., Whip Coral, Wire Coral, Spiral Coral, Spiral Wire Coral, Black Coral Sea Whip, Spiral Sea Whip, Spiral Whip Coral, Black Wire-coral, Deep-water Wire Coral and Coiled Coral.

Found on coral and rocky reefs on slopes, terraces and drop-off's.
They feed on plankton.
Length - 3m
Depth - 25-40m
Widespread Indo-Pacific

They are called Black Corals because the inner skeleton is black, over this they have a fleshy skin that varies in colour with the different corals.
The polyps have six tentacles which although cannot be retracted, may shrink if disturbed.
A number of other animals live in the branches, e.g. Pteria penquin (Winged pearl oyster), Lopha cristagalli (Cock's comb oyster), Periclimenes sp.(Black coral shrimp). (edit)

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