soft corals text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Alcyonaria/Octocorallia > Order Alcyonacea
Fine feathery soft coral
Briareum sp.*
Family Briareidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This colony of tiny animals is commonly seen on some of our shores, but is often overlooked. The colony grows on stones and hard surfaces, including litter on the shores!

Features: Colony about 10-15cm, sometimes much larger. Polyps about 1cm in diameter, on stalks about 1cm long emerging from low to tubular mounds (calyces). The eight skinny tentacles have short thin brown branches in 1 row on both sides of each tentacle. Oral disk and tentacles white, greenish or bluish. The polyps emerge from a common membrane that encrusts hard surfaces that is mangenta purple due to the colour of the sclerites (tiny spikes of calcium carbonate). The polyps don't pulsate and can slowly retract completely leaving a bumpy purple common tissue. The animals harbour symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) and thus can be found in clearer water.

Sisters Island, Jan 12

Sentosa, Jun 10

Polyps emerge from calyces
and can retract completely.

Beting Bronok, Jun 06

Pulau Tekukor, May 07

Encrusting a discarded bottle.
Sentosa, Sep 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.

Fine feathery soft corals on Singapore shores

Photos of Fine feathery soft corals for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Pulau Senang. Jun 10

Terumbu Selegie, Jun 11



  • 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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