soft corals text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Alcyonaria/Octocorallia > Order Alcyonacea
Brown feathery soft coral
Awaiting identification
Family Xeniidae
updated Nov 2019

Where seen? This colony of tiny animals is sometimes seen on our Southern shores, but is often overlooked. The colony grows on stones and hard surfaces.

Features: Colony about 10-15cm. Only one kind of polyp (autozooids). Polyps about 1-1.5cm in diameter, on stalks about 1-2cm long. The eight skinny tentacles have long thin side branches (pinnules) arranged in 1 to 4 rows along both edges of each tentacle. pale brown, oral disk and main tentacles pale, the entire animal the same colour. The tiny polyps don't retract completely into the common tissue, and don't pulsate.

Other soft corals with this form include Anthelia and Sansibia of the Family Xeniidae.

Beting Bemban Besar, May 11

Sentosa, Mar 05

Oral disk and main tentacle pale,
side branches brown.

Cyrene Reef, Jul 09

Terumbu Semakau, May 10

Kusu Island, May 04

*ID needs confirmation. Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Brown feathery soft corals on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 16
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.


  • Fabricius, Katharina and Philip Alderslade, 2001. Soft Corals and Sea Fans. Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territoriy. 264 pp.
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