[Coral-List] Palythoa or Trididemnum

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Thu Jan 17 10:37:59 EST 2008

Dear Ellen,

I think it is pretty clear now that most people are not confusing  
Palythoa. Palythoa however can overgrow and kill corals and I have  
seen it doing so very actively in SE Florida, Brazil, and Toco in  

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net

Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 18:30:59 -0800 (PST)
From: Ellen McRae <siwaban at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Fwd: Mat tunicate problem?
To: Alex Brylske <Brylske at aol.com>,	coral-list coral-list
	<coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Message-ID: <557964.31179.qm at web56809.mail.re3.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

Could this be the colonial mat anemone Palythoa caribaeorum? This is  
what it sounds most like to me.  They form mats 1 m or so across on  
nonliving rocks in shallow water. Not all individuals in a colony are  
open, and their short tentacles may not be visible. These look like  
series of pale lumps, each about a centimeter across, encrusting the  
substrate. The "spiders" sound like Arrow crabs.  Too many errant  
polychaetes to hazard a guess about the worms. To my knowledge this  
is not a pathology and should not be removed.  Any other opinions  
about this welcome!

   Best wishes--
   Ellen McRae
   Caye Caulker
   Belize, C.A.

More information about the Coral-List mailing list