Common Name(s): Encrusting gorgonian
Colony Form: Irregular mat <1 cm thick, encrusting over hard substrates. Elongated polyp tentacles appear as long fur or hair when extended. Rind appears smooth and leathery when polyps are retracted.
Apertures: Pinhole-sized, often star-shaped, sometimes slightly projecting.
Mucus: Absent, but surface slippery.
Color: Tan with paler apertures; underside reddish; polyps tan or light brown.
Sclerites: All 6-radiate, colorless in outer cortex, red in inner cortex.
Habitat: Most shallow reef environments.
Distribution: Bahamas, South Florida, and Caribbean Sea.
Notes: Unlike similar Briareum polyanthes, E. caribaeorum forms thin, tan, encrusting mats on hard surfaces rather than on other octocorals. Bases of B. asbestinum colonies often encrust but give rise to upright rods.