Tubipora musica – Pipe Organ is the Octocoral Polyp with a Skeleton

Pipe organ is an interesting and very unique species of coral that comes in a dizzying amount of variety that isn’t celebrated nearly enough. Officially known as Tubipora musica the pipe organ coral has a very long and storied history being…

WWC True Blue Xenia is Strikingly Blue

Xenia has long held a special esteem in the reef aquarium world, once cherished for its polyp pulsing behavior, and subsequently reviled for its capacity to rapaciously grow and take over tanks with the right conditions. There’s a long history…

‘Xenia’ is Unsurprisingly Taking Over Venezuelan Reefs

‘Xenia elongata’, recently reclassified as Unomia stolonifera, is a soft coral that is well known in the aquarium hobby for its supernatural growth rates in reef tanks. This fleshy octocoral is so prolific that it has been used in dedicated…

In Memorium: Octocoral taxonomist Dr. Leen P. van Ofwegen

On June 25th, 2021, one of the preeminent octocoral taxonomists, Dr. Leen P. van Ofwegen of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, passed away. Though his name may not be immediately familiar to the average aquarist or diver, his impact on our…

Invasive Sansibia & Clavularia Discovered Growing off Brazil Coast

Sansibia and Clavularia are two genera of soft octocorals that are well known in the aquarium hobby, one for being a pest and the other for sometimes being a colorful aquarium coral. Reef aquarists are well aware of how fast…

Octocorals Photographed In The Wild – North Sulawesi

Octocorals are some of my favorite corals to photograph in the wild. Big fluffy octocoral colonies are especially plentiful around the islands of North Sulawesi, and it seems I have a bumper crop of wild octocoral photos living in my…

Bunga, Laeta and Phenganax: Lots of Micro Octocorals Finally get Named

Bunga, Laeta & Phenganax are the new taxonomic homes for a wide variety of small, nondescript octocorals that often hitchhike into our aquariums on coral bases and live rocks. Phenganax is an existing genus which just inducted two new species…

Hanabira yukibana, a New Species of Encrusting Polyps

Octocorals are a very diverse group of reef animals which include many different families, including the tiny and encrusting Stoloniferans that are very easy to overlook. Today a new genus and species of Stoloniferans gets recognized with the official description…

New Micro Polyp Species Described from Japan and Palau

Micro polyps are a broad group of tiny encrusting octocorals that can be so small that they are easily overlooked, both on the reef and in the aquarium. The only one we see with any regularity is ‘blue Anthelia’ a…

Three New Species of Rarely Seen Adelogorgia Gorgonians

Most of the new coral species that are described these days are discovered living in deep water habitats, usually where only ROVs can go. The genus Adelogorgia from the Eastern Pacific Ocean is one of those groups of Octocorals which…