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Family

Plexauridae

Common Name(s)

Knobby candelabra.

Colony Form

Candelabra or bushy with few long, irregular branches; to 1.8 m in height.

Axis

Cylindrical in cross-section.

Branches

Long branches 5-15 mm in diameter (not including calices).

Apertures

calices tubular, prominent, with lower lip longer than upper one.

Mucus

Absent

Color

Dark brown to black. Calyx tube lighter than the rest of the colony, and polyps with pale brown tentacles.

Sclerites

Polyp armature: robust rods 0.15-0.57 mm and small rods 0.08-0.18 mm; little sclerite bodies and octoradiate forms in tentacles. Axial layer: ornate, lavender or purple spindles, or irregular bodies, to 0.25 mm. Middle layer: robust spindles 0.58-2.66 mm long, 0.08-0.72 in diameter. Surface layer: small foliate and irregular clubs 0.07-0.19 mm long.

Habitat

Semi-exposed reefs in 10-30 m.

Distribution

Widespread: Bahamas, Bermuda, South Florida, Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean Sea.

Notes

Very long polyps, among the largest in Eunicea. Branch thickness and polyp length highly variable. Sánchez (2009) found two morphotypes (except for the type Material): a slender form ~20 cm tall with branches to 12 cm long, often with few, chiefly small, club sclerites, larger polyp rods and robust middle layer sclerites visible at the surface. The thick form reaches ~40 cm tall, with thick branches to 2 cm across near the base, mostly to 20 cm long.

Date Taken

4-11-2016

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