Good morning all, I have a beautiful colony of Orange Cup Corals at the base of a giant sea fan for your viewing pleasure today, that was taken on one of our numerous night dives.
As you may or may not know, many corals feed at night. These cup corals collapse into a hard “button” during the day but at night they open and extend their tentacles to capture floating plankton.
Many don’t know this, but Tubastrea coccinea “Orange Cup coral” is an invasive species just like the lionfish. While lionfish get all the attention and are subjected to extraction derbies and are appropriately placed on a platter, orange cup coral silently keeps on growing. Fortunately it is much more selective than lionfish. So far, it seems to prefer artificial reefs, dock pilings and oil rigs. Isn’t it funny that two of the most visually attractive species of our waters are invasive aliens?