Tortured Black Coral Whip (Stichopathes sp.)

Also known as Coiled Coral, Spiral Coral, Whip Coral, Wire Coral

Description

Also known as Coiled Coral, Spiral Coral, Whip Coral, Wire Coral.

Found over drop-offs, slopes and terraces of coral and rocky reefs. This genus has polyps on three sides, leaving one side bare.
They feed on plankton.
Length - 60cm
Depth - 15-40m
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: x

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