Flower Tree Coral (Scleronephthya sp.)

Also known as Broccoli Coral, Carnation Coral, Cauliflower Coral, Cauliflower Soft Coral, Colt Soft Coral, Dappled Soft Coral, Hanging Tree Soft Coral, Nephtheid Soft Coral, Nepthea Tree Coral, Orange-mouthed Soft Coral, Scleronephthya Strawberry Coral, Soft Tree Coral, Strawberry Coral

Description

Also known as Broccoli Coral, Carnation Coral, Cauliflower Coral, Cauliflower Soft Coral, Colt Soft Coral, Dappled Soft Coral, Hanging Tree Soft Coral, Nephtheid Soft Coral, Nepthea Tree Coral, Orange-mouthed Soft Coral, Scleronephthya Strawberry Coral, Soft Tree Coral, Strawberry Coral.

Found hanging from cave ceilings, ledges, along shaded vertical walls in current prone deep water areas of coral and rocky reefs
Has a unique dappled appearance and is also brightly coloured, short-stalked and knobbly species of soft coral.
They feed on plankton.
Length - 25cm
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. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephtheidae

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