[Coral-List] Colonial tunicates

Ernesto Weil eweil at caribe.net
Tue Jan 22 09:50:21 EST 2008

Dear Melissa 


Trididemum solidum is a colonial tunicate that commonly overgrows benthic
organisms in the Caribbean. We have been doing coral disease surveys in at
least three reefs in each of six countries from Bermuda to Panamá for the
last three years and this tunicate is most common in reefs of Granada and
Puerto Rico, where it overgrows large colonies of Montastraea spp. as well
as colonies of many other scleractinian species (Porites, Colpophyllia,
Diploria, Siderastrea, etc.), zoanthids, sponges, octocorals, CCA, etc. from
10 to 20 m deep. It is grayish to pale brown in coloration. I have photos if
you are interested. Other encrusting, conspicuous and “aggressive” organisms
that commonly overgrow or kill corals include sponges (Cliona tenuis, C.
langae, C. caribbaea, C.aprica, C. delitrix, Anthosigmella varians,
Syphonodictyon coralliphagus, and Chondrilla nuculla to name a few) and the
zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum, which can monopolize extensive shallow areas
in some coral reefs. 





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