[Coral-List] Zoanthid (Paltythoa caribaeorum) overgrowth of corals

Jan-Willem van Bochove jvb at coralcayconservation.com
Fri Mar 7 15:44:43 EST 2008



I've noticed that P. caribaeorum, a colonial zoanthid which forms extensive
mats, is overtopping and smothering a large variety of scleractinian corals
in shallow reef environments in Tobago.

P. caribaeorum is an aggressive, fast growing and toxic zoanthid which seems
to stop at nothing and I have yet to see any significant predation on the
species. In a small, sheltered bay where most of our observations were made,
it forms the dominant substrate with over 75% cover in the shallows (2-5m).
We have also seen it overtopping massive corals in deeper waters.

I was wondering if anyone has or knows of any recent research done on the
zoanthid or has noticed its abundance elsewhere on such a scale. Other than
a paper presented at the ICRS of 1981 in Manila by Suchanek and Green, I
have not come across any literature dealing with inter-specific competition
with corals. 


Images of the zoanthid overgrowing corals can be found on -




Any feedback is appreciated.






Reference - 

Suchanek T.H., and Green, D.J., 1981. Interspecific Competition Between
Palythoa Caribaeorum and Other Sessile Invertebrates on St.Croix Reefs, U.S.
Virgin Islands. Proceedings of the Fourth International Coral Reef
Symposium, Manila, Vol. 2.

Jan-Willem van Bochove MSc 
Chief Technical Advisor 

Coral Cay Conservation Ltd 
Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London, SE1 7NJ, United Kingdom 
Tel: +44 (0)20 7620 1411 (switch board) 
Fax: +44 (0)20 7921 0469 
email: jvb at coralcayconservation.com 
skype: jhvanbochove 

Company Registration No: 02590980  Registered VAT No: 574173823 

Venture provided by Coral Cay Conservation to British Standard BS8848:
Specification for the Provision of Visits, Fieldwork, Expeditions and
Adventurous Activities outside the UK (self declared).


P please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to. 


DISCLAIMER: This message (and any files transmitted with it) is intended
only for the person(s) to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential
and privileged information which may not be copied, distributed or disclosed
to any third party. If received in error, please inform the sender
immediately and delete from your mailbox. Any views expressed in this
message are not necessarily those of Coral Cay Conservation Ltd and no
liability is accepted for loss or damage arising from their use. Coral Cay
Conservation Ltd takes all reasonable action to suppress viruses and cannot
accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by inadvertent
transmission of contagious files. Emails may be open to monitoring and are
stored for future reference. 

Coral Cay Conservation Ltd, Elizabeth House, 39 York Road,  London SE1 7NJ,
United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0)20 7620 1411 




More information about the Coral-List mailing list