[Coral-List] Zoanthid (Paltythoa caribaeorum) overgrowth of corals
David.Palandro at MyFWC.com
Mon Mar 10 08:47:37 EDT 2008
At this point it is largely anecdotal, but from my work in the Florida
Keys over the past few years I have found a growing abundance of
Palythoa caribaerum. It is abundant on the very shallow reef crest,
where it grows on the remaining skeletal structure of dead A. palmata.
It is also very abundant in the backreef rubble zone. I would be happy
to provide images if you would like.
David Palandro, PhD
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
100 Eighth Avenue Southeast
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 896-8626 x3056
(727) 893-1679 (fax)
david.palandro at myfwc.com
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Jan-Willem
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 3:45 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Zoanthid (Paltythoa caribaeorum) overgrowth of
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
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.
Suchanek T.H., and Green, D.J., 1981. Interspecific Competition Between
Palythoa Caribaeorum and Other Sessile Invertebrates on St.Croix Reefs,
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
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