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

Palandro, David 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

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Jan-Willem
van Bochove
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
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,
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 




Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list