Warty Gorgonian Coral

The Warty Gorgonian (Eunicella verrucosa) is a soft marine (saltwater) coral in the Gorgoniidae family of sea fans. It is also known as the Broad Sea Fan Coral and the Pink Sea Fan Coral. It is not a plant.

The Warty Gorgonian is a branching calcareous coral. It branches into slender, warty stems and branchlets. The warts are small growths. It can be red, pink, or white. It leans in the direction of the water flow or ocean current. The polyps emerge from the warty protrusions and spread their tentacles to feed on organisms in the sea. The polyps are retractable with eight tentacles.

Continue reading “Warty Gorgonian Coral”

CREATURE FEATURE: Solitary Disk Coral

The Solitary Disk Coral (Scolymia cubensis) is a solitary marine (saltwater) stony coral in the Mussidae family. It is not a plant.

The Solitary Disk Coral is flat and concave with a circular shape, like an inverted cone. It can be light-green, beige, or deep rusty red. It has layers of thick plates called septa that surround a central mouth with spongy polyps.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Solitary Disk Coral”

Box Jellyfish

The Box Jellyfish (Chirodropus sp.) is a marine (saltwater) planktonic scyphozoan in the Chirodropidae family of venomous box jellyfish. It belongs to the Cubozoa class. It is a cnidarian. It is also known as the Sea Wasp.

The medusa form of the Box Jellyfish has a cube-shaped, or box-shaped, bell. From each of the four lower corners hangs short stalks called pedalium which have about 15 slender, hollow tentacles. The rim of the bell is folded inwards to form a shelf known as a velarium. The velarium creates jet propulsion, which makes it move through the water. 

In the centre of the box is a manubrium, which looks like an elephant’s trunk. This is where its mouth is located. Other jellyfish have ocelli, which are light sensing organs, instead of eyes. However, the Box Jellyfish has about 20 ocelli in addition to true eyes, set in a cluster, with retinas, corneas, and lenses. The eyes are located in pockets halfway up the outer, flat surface of the bell.

Continue reading “Box Jellyfish”

White-Spotted Jellyfish

The White-Spotted Jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata) is a marine (saltwater) planktonic scyphozoan in the Mastigiidae family of jellyfish. It is a cnidarian. It is also known as the Floating Bell, the Australian Spotted Jellyfish, or the Brown Jellyfish.

The White-Spotted Jellyfish has a deep-brown colour due to the algae living on the tissue. It has a bell-shaped dome with little spots. It does not have stinging tentacles. It does not have eyes. Instead, it has light-sensing organs called ocelli. It is composed of 95% of water, which enables it to float.

Continue reading “White-Spotted Jellyfish”

Sea Fan Coral

The Sea Fan Coral (Pinnigorgia sp.) is a marine (saltwater) soft coral in the Gorgoniidae family of sea fans. It is not a plant. 

The Sea Fan Coral has calcareous spicules (horny nodules) on branchlets. The branchlets are usually slender. It can be whiplike, bushy, or spread out like a fan. The polyps are retractable with eight tentacles. It can be purple, red, or yellowish.

Continue reading “Sea Fan Coral”

Red Coral

The Red Coral (Corallium rubrum formally Gorgonia nobilis) is a marine (saltwater) coral in the Corallidae family of branched limestone coral. It is also called Precious Coral. Coral is an animal, not a plant.

The Red Coral is red or pink-orange. It has branches, made from calcium carbonate, that are tree-like. It has retractable transparent white polyps with a round mouth disc surrounded by eight hollow tentacles. The tentacles have mild venom (poison). It is sessile (it does not move). 

Continue reading “Red Coral”

Yellow Cluster Anemone

The Yellow Cluster Anemone (Parazoanthus axinellae) is a marine (saltwater) zoanthid coral in the Parazoanthidae family. It is also known as the Sea Mimosa. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Yellow Cluster Anemone is yellow or orange.  It is a cluster of individual polyps connected by a tissue called coenenchyme. Each polyp has 24-36 tentacles in two whorls. The polyps retract into their tube when threatened.

Continue reading “Yellow Cluster Anemone”

Elegance Coral

The Elegance Coral (Catalaphyllia jardinei) is a marine (saltwater) photosynthetic coral in the Euphyllidae family of stony coral. It is also known as the Wonder Coral or the Ridge Coral. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Elegance Coral has large polyps with a large, branching coralite skeleton. The polyps have long tendrils and a large, fleshy, disc-shaped (round) mouth. It can be fluorescent green, lime green, and brown.

Continue reading “Elegance Coral”

Blue Coral

The Blue Coral (Heliopora coerulea) is a species of hard marine (saltwater) coral in the Helioporidae family of octocorals. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Blue Coral has a blue skeleton made of calcium carbonate. Often it is hidden by individual greenish-grey or blue polyps that live in tubes within the skeleton. Each polyp has eight tentacles.

Continue reading “Blue Coral”

Spotted Jellyfish

The Spotted Jellyfish (Mastigias papua) is a small marine (saltwater) planktonic scyphozoanin the Mastigidae family and the phylum Cnidaria of jellyfish. It is also known as the Lagoon Jellyfish, the Golden Medusa, or the Papuan Jellyfish.

The Spotted Jellyfish has a bell-shaped dome with little spots. It does not have stinging tentacles. It does not have eyes. Instead, it has light sensing organs called ocelli. It is composed of 95% of water, which enables it to float.

Continue reading “Spotted Jellyfish”

Violescent Sea-Whip Coral

The Violescent Sea-Whip Coral (Paramuricea clavata) is a marine (saltwater) soft coral in the Plexauridae family of coralins. It is a living animal, and not a plant.

The Violescent Sea-Whip Coral is a red fan-shaped branching colony of coral, which looks like a flat, one-dimensional tree. The stem and branches are stiffened by gorgonin, which is a complex protein that produces a hard skeleton. Covering the skeleton is a thin layer of coenenchyme with polyps. The polyps have eight tentacles (feeding arms) around a central mouth. It is sometimes also partly yellow in colour.

Continue reading “Violescent Sea-Whip Coral”

Yellow Scroll Coral

The Yellow Scroll Coral (Turbinaria reniformis) is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate in the Dendrophyllidae family of stony coral. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Yellow Scroll Coral is usually yellow or yellowish-green. It is a laminar (plate-like) species that forms horizontal plates or shallow chalices (cup-shapes) with thick walls. The skeletal cups are called coralites. The plates form a stony skeleton. Polyps protrude from the skeleton. The polyps have a central mouth disc with eight tentacles around the circular disc. 

Continue reading “Yellow Scroll Coral”

Pacific Sea Nettle

The Pacific Sea Nettle (Chrysaora fuscescens) is a marine (saltwater) planktonic scyphozoan in the phylum Cnidaria of jellyfish. It is also called the West Coast Sea Nettle.

The Pacific Sea Nettle has a golden-brown bell-shaped dome with a reddish tint. From the bell, there are 24 long reddish tentacles and long white, spiral-shaped, oral arms. It has light sensing organs called ocelli. 

Continue reading “Pacific Sea Nettle”

Violescent Sea-Whip

The Violescent Sea-Whip (Paramuricea clavata) is a marine (saltwater) soft coral in the Plexauridae family. It is also known as the Purple Gorgonin. It is an animal, not a plant. 

The Violescent Sea-Whip is red or reddish-purple, but it may be partly yellow. It grows in the soil at the bottom of the ocean. It has branching arms, like a whip, that form a fan shape. The stem and branches are made from a protein called gorgonin, that forms a bony skeleton. Polyps protrude from the skeleton. The polyps have a central mouth disc with eight tentacles around the circular disc. 

Continue reading “Violescent Sea-Whip”