Protopalythoa (Protopalythoa sp.)
Family: Zoanthidae (Colonial Anemones)
Habitat: Short-tentacle species are from high flow areas and long-tentacle species are from more protected locations.
Light: High Water Flow: High Space: 1+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Easy Temperament: Aggressive
Diet: Zoanthids have zooxanthellae but must also feed on plankton. They also likely directly absorb nutrients from the water.
Natural History: Protopalythoa are similar to Palythoa except that they usually have longer tentacles, flatter oral disks, have stalked polyps, and are in smaller colonies. Short-stalked polyps generally grow in high flow areas while long-stalked polyps are from more sheltered areas. Some species have zooxanthellae and most species are brown. Some species will take larger prey and swallow it similar to an anemone. The Protopalythoa produce a neurotoxin called palytoxin in their mucus.
Husbandry: Protopalythoa are hardy in captivity. Individuals with longer stalks should be provided less flow, and those with shorter stalks should be provided more flow. Larger-tentacled species generally indicate the need for larger prey. Budding is common and they may overtake large areas of substrate in captivity.
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