Giant Black Coral Whip (Cirrhipathes sp.)

Also known as Black Coral Sea Whip, Black Wire Coral, Coiled Coral, Deepwater Wire Coral, Spiral Coral, Spiral Sea Whip, Spiral Whip Coral, Spiral Wire Coral, Whip Coral, Wire Coral

Description

Also known as Black Coral Sea Whip, Black Wire Coral, Coiled Coral, Deepwater Wire Coral, Spiral Coral, Spiral Sea Whip, Spiral Whip Coral, Spiral Wire Coral, Whip Coral, Wire Coral.

Found over drop-offs, slopes and terraces of coral and rocky reefs.
They feed on plankton.
Length - 300cm
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) Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirrhipathes

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