Coral inquiry 10/25/27
These came in with a shipment of Dendronephthya but I'm not too sure exactly
what they are. Any help?
<I do think these are soft corals, of the family Nidaliidae, perhaps of the
From WWM: "Superficially resemble Gorgonians. Polyps clustered toward ends of
branches, absent from lower trunk, branches. No internal "axis" like sea fans.
Can be completely withdrawn. Western Pacific; Philippines, Belau,
Solomon Islands. Common on reef slopes, overhangs at times. "
Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
|Identification of coral, Chili Coral
(Nephthyigorgia) 2/27/07 Hello from Belfast,
Ireland! <Top O' the morning to you, Jason! Mich
here.> I'd like to say thanks for doing a great job -
I've found your site very helpful while getting started with my
marine setup. <Tis good to hear!> I was wondering if you
could ID this coral for me. It was sold to me as a fire coral, but
having checked out the descriptions of fire coral on your site, it
appears to be something quite different - no white tips or hairs,
and it has star shaped polyps. <Not a fire coral.> The polyps
are retracted during the day, and the coral shrinks to about 1/3 of
its nighttime size. <Very accurate description.> So,
unfortunately for me, it's full splendour is only visible early
in the morning before it retracts again. <Yes this is normal
behavior for this coral, is nocturnal, like me, commonly called a
Chili coral (Nephthyigorgia). It is aposymbiotic,
meaning that it has no zooxanthellae, and therefore
non-photosynthetic. This means this coral must be target
fed, typically when the lights are out and the polyps are
extended. Their nutritional requirements are poorly
understood, but are filter feeder, so think tiny planktonic
Good day to you!
<And to you! -Mich>