:  Alcyoniidae
Taxonomy: Alcyonacea: Alcyoniidae (Octocorals)
Body Form: Tiny pieces of calcite called sclerites aid in internal support. Some anchor to the substrate with calcite while other species produce internal supports to hold themselves upright. The polyps have a low density of nematocysts. Mucus and microvilli aid in food movement to the mouth. Autozooids are feeding polyps while piphonozooids are water circulating polyps - some species have only autozooids while others have both.
Diet: The octocorals are generally polytrophic - getting nutrition from zooxanthellae (algae) in their tissues, nutrient uptake from the seawater, and feeding on microplankton.    Care Level:  easy
Natural History: The Alcyonacea (one of the octocorals) include the leather corals, soft corals, map polyps, and gorgonians. Nearly all members live attached to a solid substrate by attachment via a holdfast. As a group they do not produce an aragonite skeleton but instead produce a protein and calcite that together cements the body together. Lacking penetrating nematocysts, these corals feed on tiny prey - bacteria, rotifers, and algae cells - that are suspended in the water column. They are found in areas without high wave action. Some species produce exotoxins that may affect the growth of other stony coral competitors.
Cabbage Leather Coral
Colonial Toadstool Leather
Colt Coral - Pink
Devils's Hand
Finger Leather Coral
Frilly Mushroom Leather Coral
Green Sarcophyton
Leather - Blushing Colt
Mushroom Leather Coral
Rabbit Ear Leather Coral
Toadstool Leather
Yellow Devils's Hand Coral
Yellow Leather