Animal Species:Soft Coral

Close relatives of the sea pens, soft corals live in colonies attached to the seabed and can be flat, covering rock surfaces, or branched.

Soft Coral

Dr Isobel Bennett © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Soft Coral

Identification

Soft coral has a flat form, growing in folds on the rocky surface, and is usually a grey colour that darkens when the polyps expand to feed.

Size range

15 cm

Distribution

Soft corals are found from South Australia to northern New South Wales.

Habitat

Soft corals live in coastal waters.

Feeding and Diet

Soft corals all have polyps with eight feathery branches. These polyps feed just like those of hard corals and anemones, using stinging cells to capture tiny marine animals. Capnella gaboensis is the most abundant soft coral around the New South Wales coast.

Classification

Species:
gaboensis
Genus:
Capnella
Family:
Neptheidae
Order:
Alcyonacea
Subclass:
Octocorallia
Class:
Anthozoa
Phylum:
Cnidaria
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?


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Tags soft corals, anthozoans, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,