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Encrusting gorgonian

Erythropodium caribaeorum


Erythropodium caribaeorum (commonly known as the encrusting gorgonian or encrusting polyps) is a species of sessile marine animal in the Erythropodium genus. This is the commonest of two encrusting species of gorgonians. It usually encrusts coral rock, but may also encrust other gorgonians, slowly killing them. Tentacles are long and fine, and when retracted the mat is smooth and leathery. The colour is usually pale and yellow-brown. E. caribaeorum is of interest from a drug discovery perspective because it produces eleutherobin, a diterpene glycoside with potential anticancer activity.


It inhabits coral reefs and rocky bottoms in the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Florida, growing at depths of 0.5 to 25 metres. Seen in dive site Alice in Wonderland, Bonaire.

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Bonaire, Caribisch Nederland, Netherlands

Lat: 12.10, Long: -68.29

Spotted on Sep 12, 2017
Submitted on Jan 28, 2018

Spotted for mission

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