Invertebrates

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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.

Corallite Colony Shapes

Plocoid

Colonies with corallites that have their own distinctive walls

Phaceloid

Colonies with corallites of uniform height and adjoined towards their base

Cerioid

Colonies with corallites sharing common walls

Dendroid

Spreading branches of single corallites

Meandroid

Colonies with corallite mouths aligned in valleys

Thamnasteroid (SeptaCostae)

Corallites with confluent septa and lacking defined boundaries

Both of the above examples are septacostae species.

Flabello-meandroid

Inclined Corallites

Corallites that grows at an angle (facing the outer margin) from the colony base

Exsert corallites and Immersed corallites

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