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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Alcyonaria/Octocorallia > Order Alcyonacea
Knobbly soft coral
Carijoa sp.
Family Clavulariidae
updated Mar 13

Where seen? This colony of bumpy animals is commonly seen on some of our Northern shores, but often overlooked as it resembles a plant. It grows on large boulders, jetty pillings and other hard surfaces.

Features: 5-8cm long. The colony comprises a cluster of sparsely branched 'stems', forming short bushes or bushy fringes on hard surfaces. Each long stem is a primary polyp bearing large secondary polyps in capsules (about 1cm long) regularly arranged along the length. The polyps can retract completely into the capsule. Colour usually white although the colony may be overgrown with colourful encrusting sponges and ascidians. The animals do not have symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) and thus can be found in murky water and dark places.

Sometimes mistaken for a sea fan (Order Gorgonacea) or a hydroid (Order Hydrozoa).

East Coast, Jun 09


Keppel Bay, Oct 09

Secondary polyps emerge from a capsule.

Eight branched tentacles.


Pulau Sekudu, Apr 06

Changi, Jul 07

Changi, Jul 12

Growing on a living sea fan.

*Species are difficult to positively identify without closer examination.
On this website, the animals are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Knobbly soft corals on Singapore shores

Photos of Knobbly soft corals for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Acknowledgement
Grateful thanks to Chandran Rethnaraj for identifying this animal.

Links

References

  • 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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