I have a little, very delicate Rose Lace coral for you all today that I shot in the mouth of a little cave on our Substation house reef. This hydrocoral forms small colonies, up to 7 cm high by 11 cm wide.
The surface of the outer branches are covered with rows of small glasses, formed by surrounding food and stinging polyps, and cups are also visible in the thick base of the branches. The polyps look like hair as when extended, and are burgundy, purple, or lavender near the base, fading to pink and white towards the tips of the branches.
These corals inhabit protected and shady areas, often in caves or crevices, at a depth of 6-30 meters. They are found in Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and in the Abrolhos Archipelago.
Usually found hanging from a ledge of a cave or crevice, they can sting if rubbed against, but they are not considered toxic or even deadly. The Stylaster roseus is a filter feeder like most other corals, and has a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, which provides it with the essential nutrients it needs to live. MORE