Common Name(s): Slimy sea plume
Colony Form: Plumose, pinnate, to 1.5 m tall.
Branches: Pinnules long, flexible, regularly-spaced, flat or triangular in cross section, <5 mm across, usually in pairs on opposite sides of main branch.
Apertures: Flush but can appear bulbous; restricted to row along flattened sides of pinnules. Polyps contract slowly and often remain expanded when preserved.
Mucus: Copious; colonies very slimy.
Color: Purple to beige tan; dries purple, brown, beige, tan, pale yellow.
Sclerites: Polyp armature: small rods with rounded knobs; no flat rods. Body wall: scaphoids (curved sclerites) strongly curved with sharp ends often recurved outward, and with convex profile finely spiny; spindles acute, large and ornately sculptured, to 0.4 mm long.
Habitat: Shallow hard bottoms to deep reefs in clear water; 1-50 m.
Distribution: Bermuda, South Florida, Bahamas, Antilles.
Notes: Williams and Chen (2012) transferred all Western Atlantic species of Pseudopterogorgia to the genus Antillogorgia. Although Antillogorgia americana produces a number of secondary metabolites that appear to have anti-predator functions (Epifanio et al. 2007), it still may be preyed upon by the flamingo tongue gastropod, Cyphoma gibbosum, which preferentially consumes axial tissues near the base of colonies (Harvell & Fenical 1989). Bayer (1961) noted that bleaching for sclerite examination breaks the tissue down very slowly and releases far more zooxanthellae than in either A. acerosa or A. rigida.
Similar Species: Antillogorgia rigida