:  Plexauridae
Taxonomy: Alcyonacea: Plexauridae (Octocorals)
Body Form: The Plexaura grow as stalks with a bushy appearance and are generally purple, gray, or brown. They have retractile polyps.
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.
Colorful Sea Rod
Colorful Sea Rod - Red
Gorgonian - purple
Knobby Sea Rod
Purple Polyp Gorgonian
Red-polyped Gorgonian
Sea Rod