Hydroids (2) & Hydrocorals (2) Hydroids- usually colonial, skeleton looks branchy like a fern, individual polyps are attached to branches. Complex life cycle. Hydrocorals- colonial, marine hydrozoans with a limestone skeleton. (resemble true corals).
Christmas Tree Hydroid
Portuguese Man-Of-War Hydroid Dangerous nematocysts-dont touch and dont try to pull one off of your friend (youll get stung too!)
Branching (Encrusting) Fire Coral Hydrocoral Dont touch…these are one reason to be thankful youll be wearing a wetsuit!
Blade (Leafy) Fire Coral Hydrocoral
Jellyfish (2) True Jellyfishes- translucent, unattached medusae, swim in open water, consist of prominent dome and nemotocyst-bearing tentacles
Sea Thimble Jellyfish Tiny and numerous! We may see these in Andros, but they only sting your mucus membranes, so you can touch them with your hands!
Upside-down (Cassiopea) Jellyfish Blend in well, look in warm shallows May be coin to pancake size
Gorgonians (8) Gorgonians- commonly called soft corals, lack rigid, permanent skeletons. Central core is surrounded by gelatinous rind with imbedded polyps.
Corky Sea Fingers Gorgonian
Black Sea Rods Gorgonian
Porous Sea Rods Gorgonian Picture showing pore-like polyps on right
Bipinnate Sea Plume Gorgonian
Yellow Sea Whip Gorgonian
Angular Sea Whip Gorgonian Commonly seen on our snorkels. Picture below shows details of polyps.
Common Sea Fan Gorgonian Ones we see will have purple colored veins.
Venus Sea Fan Gorgonian Notice yellow colored veins on the sea fans on the left.
Anemones (4) Anemones- solitary polyps attached to bottom of sea, lack hard skeletal parts. Tentacles with nematocysts sting and capture prey which is then inserted into mouth on oral disc. May contract tentacles for protection.
Giant (aka: Pink-Tipped) You will probably see these, especially during our invertebrate walk. Usually pretty small (1-3 in)
Elegant (Burrowing) Anemone
Corkscrew Anemone Look for these attached to patch reef or wreckage
Zoanthids (2) Zoanthids- similar to anemones, but tiny (<1/2 in.) and mostly colonial. Only has 2 rings of tentacles.
White Encrusting Zoanthid
Corals (13) Stony Corals- hard corals, reef builders. Polyps secreting calcium carbonate to form hard cups (corallites) that protect soft bodies. Increase in size by asexual budding. NOTE: When snorkeling over a coral head, look for combinations of stony coral, gorgonians, anemones and other organisms all living together.
Staghorn Coral You will see these often on the main reef!
Elkhorn Coral Ginormous! These have made a comeback around Andros~you should see lots!
Finger (Clubbed-finger) Coral Commonly seen on our trip. Look for the large wall of finger coral by the oceanic blue hole
Great Star Coral Smaller picture shows individual polyps
Boulder Star Coral
Elliptical Star Coral
Mustard Hill Coral You should see these nearly every day.
Symmetrical (Smooth) Brain Coral
Grooved Brain Coral
Rose Coral Elliptical on left Hemispherical on right
The End Study your field guides and feel free to access this PowerPoint for review purposes on the Marine Biology website!