Cave Fan Coral (Melithaea sp.)

Also known as Fan Coral, Gorgonian Fan Coral, Gorgonian Sea Fan, Octocoral

Description

Also known as Fan Coral, Gorgonian Fan Coral, Gorgonian Sea Fas, Octocoral.

Found in areas of slow current as well as very turbid areas, often branching out from vertical walls and hanging from cave ceilings, over coral and rocky reefs.The bigger fan corals often have a corkscrew effect on the main stems.
They feed on plankton.
Length - 100cm
Depth - 20-40m
Widespread Indo-Pacific

Most soft corals have no true skeleton and so their bodies are flexible.
Some soft corals have spikes very similar to rose thorns which may help to protect against predators.
Soft corals are food and shelter to many marine animals, some of which hide in the branches and take on the colouration of these corals. (edit) Ref: x

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