South Florida Octocorals - All Images

 

Preview

image preview

Family

Plexauridae

Common Name(s)

False whip plexaura

Colony Form

Large, dichotomously branched, bushy or in one plane; to 1 m tall.

Axis

Cylindrical

Branches

Long, thin, tapering, ~ 2-3 mm diameter.

Apertures

Small, smooth, round to slightly oval, ~ 1mm across, in irregularly scattered vertical rows; distance between apertures equal to or greater than aperture diameter; no projecting calices.

Mucus

Slimy

Color

Living specimens beige to purple. Dries purplish brown or light yellowish-brown. In alcohol pale gray or white.

Sclerites

Polyp armature: few flat little rods. Axial layer: small multi-radiate dark purple capstans (chiefly <0.15 mm in terminal branches). Outer layers: small leaf-clubs (0.1-0.15 mm), slender, both purple and white, often bent spindles with prominent but not crowded tubercles, to 0.5 mm long, but usually smaller.

Habitat

Most reefs in 2.5-50 m; most common in 15-20 m.

Distribution

Bermuda, South Florida, Caribbean Sea.

Notes

Distinguished by short, narrow spindles, leaf-clubs and capstans on outer cortex (Bayer, 1961). Wide spacing of apertures distinguishes this species from P. porosa (Bayer, 1961). Flamingo tongue gastropods, Cyphoma spp., are common predators of P. flagellosa (Harvell and Suchanek, 1987).

Date Taken

4-11-2016

Share

 
COinS