soft corals text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Alcyonaria/Octocorallia > Order Alcyonacea
Fine feathery soft coral
Briareum sp.*
Family Briareidae
updated Nov 2019

Where seen? This colony of tiny animals is 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 through calyces embedded in a common tissue that encrusts hard surfaces. The polyps don't pulsate and can slowly retract completely leaving only the calyces which leave a bumpy surface on the common tissue. The tissue is mangenta purple due to the colour of the sclerites (tiny spikes of calcium carbonate). The animals harbour symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) and is thus more common in clearer waters.

Sisters Island, Jan 12

Polyps emerge from calyces.

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
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Pulau Jong, Aug 20
Photo shared by Joleen Chan on facebook.

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Pulau Senang. Jun 10

Terumbu Selegie, Jun 11

Pulau Berkas, Feb 22
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon 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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