Frondy Black Coral (Antipathes nilanduensis)

Also known as Bushy Black Coral, Delicate Black Coral, Precious Black Coral

Description

Also known as Bushy Black Coral, Delicate Black Coral, Precious Black Coral.

Found in large bushy colonies with fine branches and small polyps over current swept deeper waters of the reefs.
They feed on zooplankton.
Length - 1.5m
Depth - 20-30m
Widespread Western Indian Ocean

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). Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipathes

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