There is something about true Caribbean Gorgonia sea fans that has always fascinated us – their small polyps and highly regular structure is unusual for a soft corals. The Gorgonia sea fans have a more determinate growth form than most gorgonians which makes us liken them to SPS corals more than anything else.
We’ve kept sea fans a few times, keeping a purple one in an SPS coral tank now but these have always been yellow or purple G. ventalina. Some recent imports of sea fans from central America are actually Gorgonia mariae, a very different species with a penchant for deeper waters and larger ‘cells’ to its tightly inter-branching growth form.
Big thanks to Joe of Russo’s Reef for taking and sharing pictures of the colorful purple Gorgonia mariae sea fans. We hope to see the new sea fans from Central America in the retail markets very soon.