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Broccoli corals

(Nephtheidae)

Subergorgiidae Giant Fans Carpet Anemones

Members of this family are bushy to tree-like and can be found in calm waters exposed to strong currents (but not to strong waves). Soft corals of this family are found everywhere, but particularly in abundance at Hin Muang and Hin Daeng and around deeper areas at Koh Haa. Sometimes known as 'tree corals'.

Soft corals of this family are soft and rubbery. A thick 'main trunk' attaches to a hard surface on one end, with many small branches on the other end.

The colony trunk does not have any polyps, with all of the polyps being clustered at the end of the branches. The polyps are usually closed during the day, giving these corals the name 'broccoli corals' because of their resemblance to the vegetable.

At night the polyps emerge, extending their tentacles to feed.

1 species found on this page.

Carnation Corals

Dendronephthya sp.

Carnation Corals (Dendronephthya sp.) @ Koh Haa

Dendronephthya sp. @ Koh Haa

The genus Dendronephthya are widely known as The Carnation Corals or Tree Corals. Dendronephthya soft corals occur in more colours and colour combinations than any other soft genus. The colours range from yellow, orange, bright red, purple, pink, green, white, and countless combinations of these.

The colony stalk may also have several combinations of colours. Bright red or pink corals of this genus are sometimes known as Strawberry Corals.

Carnation Corals corals have upright stalks, and the branches have bushy groupings of polyps at the end. The coral polyp is the 'flowery' part of the coral colony, with each polyp attached to its neighbours by living tissue, the 'stem'.

Carnation Corals are nocturnal filter feeders and do not depend on photosynthesis. Because Dendronephthya corals do not have any zooxanthellae they depend on large quantities of zooplankton and phytoplankton to survive.

Find Out More: Marine Life References and Further Information

Diving with Broccoli corals

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