A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Lace coral species do not host zooxanthellae, as such, they can live in deeper waters where sunlight cannot reach. As hydrozoans, their microscopic polyps are different from anthozoan coral species. If you look close enough, you'll see very fine hairs protruding from the skeleton of this coral. These hairs contain nematocysts, clusters of stinging cells that can inflict painful stings on human skin. These hairs capture prey. D. violacea forms ornate, tree-like structures. The flattened, blunt-ended branches all grow on a single plane. This hydrozoan comes in various colors, including violet, red, orange and yellow, and grow up to 25cm tall.
Widespread in the Indo-West Pacific, and is generally restricted to deeper waters.
Spotted this yellow-colored coral colony -- about 20cm long -- at a depth of about 25m, off the western coast of Talikud Island, Samal, Philippines.