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Related FAQs: Stoloniferans (Sea Mats, Organ Coral), Soft Corals/Order Alcyonacea, Stinging-celled Animals, Sea Fans (Gorgonacea), Sea Pens (Pennatulacea)

Related Articles: Soft Corals of the Family , Water Flow, How Much is Enough, The Stinging-Celled Animals, Phylum Cnidaria

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

The Octocorals, Super-Order Octocorallia; Use In Marine Aquariums



 Subclass Octocorallia/Alcyonaria. Octocorals. Anthozoa with eight-multiple tentacles. Almost all colonial.

                    Order Stolonifera: Polyps arise from a creeping mat (stolon). Skeleton of calcareous tubes. Includes 

                        Tubipora (Organ-Pipe Coral)

                    Order Telestacea: Lateral polyps on simple or branched stems; skeletons of calcareous spicules.                

Order Alcyonacea: the Soft Corals. Fleshy, rubbery. Mushroom or variously lobate growth forms. Skeleton of  separate calcareous spicules. At right, a colony of the Xeniid Anthelia glauca in the Red Sea.

Order Coenothecalia: Comprised of only the Indo-Pacific Blue Coral, Heliopora. Massive calcareous skeleton.                                

Order Gorgonacea: Sea fans, Sea Whips, precious red jewelry coral (Corallium). Long stiff internal skeletons.    Horny, upright plantlike growth. Colonial. The Whip Coral Juncella juncea, family Ellisellidae in the Red Sea at right.                   

                    Order Pennatulacea: Sea Pens. Colonies as fleshy, flattened or elongate. Anchored in mud or sand bottom. 

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