Examples of identifying species
Identifying a species can range from being very easy, to nearly impossible with the naked eye. Soft corals notoriously fall into the difficult to ID. As a result, we all need to be very cautious and avoid using assumptions when ID'ing a soft corals.
Below are some anatomy features to corals, as well as some examples of soft coral ID, to demonstrate the potential difficulty.
Tabulate (Table & plate)
Cup shaped (Soft coral)
Finger like corals that extend vertically from a flat base
Finger like corals that extend nearly vertically from a common, smaller base
Foliaceous (cup shaped)
Foliaceous (whorl shaped)
Free living (solitary)