Girish Mahajan

Gorgonia flabellum

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Kingdom  Animalia
Class  Anthozoa
Order  Alcyonacea
Rank  Species
Phylum  Cnidaria
Subclass  Octocorallia
Suborder  Holaxonia
Gorgonia flabellum Gorgonia flabellum Wikipedia
Similar  Gorgonia ventalina, Gorgonia, Gorgoniidae, Iciligorgia schrammi, Plexaurella

Abanico de mar gorgonia flabellum sea fan


Gorgonia flabellum, also known as the Venus fan, Venus sea fan, common sea fan, West Indian sea fan and purple gorgonian seafan, is a species of sea fan, a sessile colonial soft coral.

Contents

Gorgonia flabellum Coralpedia Gorgonia flabellum

Description

Gorgonia flabellum Coralpedia Gorgonia flabellum

The Venus sea fan is a delicate-looking colonial soft coral in the form of a fan composed of a lattice of branches in a single plane. The coral grows from a small base, forming several main branches with side branches and a network of small branchlets. The Venus sea fan is similar in appearance to Gorgonia ventalina but has a slightly more untidy shape and short, stubby side growths coming out of the main plane. In G. flabellum the branches are flattened at right angles to the plane of the fan, while in G. ventalina the branches are either round or flattened parallel to the plane of the fan. The wide-mesh sea fan (Gorgonia mariae) is also similar in appearance but at only 30 cm is smaller and many of the branchlets do not interconnect. The Venus sea fan is white, yellowish or pale lavender. The fan is often found oriented perpendicular to the incoming waves and can grow to a height of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in).

Distribution and habitat

Gorgonia flabellum httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

The Venus sea fan is very common in the Bahamas and in this location is easily distinguishable from G. ventalina. In other parts of its range, Florida and the Lesser Antilles, however, the two species are more easily confused. It is a shallow water species seldom exceeding a depth of 10 metres (33 ft) and favours locations with strong wave action.

Biology

Gorgonia flabellum FileVenus sea fan Gorgonia flabellum 4675578269jpg Wikimedia

The skeleton of the Venus sea fan is composed of calcite and a collagen-like substance. Embedded in this are the coral polyps, each of which is a filter feeder and extends its eight tentacles to catch plankton drifting past with the current. The tissues contain a symbiotic dinoflagellate algae Symbiodinium spp. which is photosynthetic and uses sunlight to create organic carbon compounds which are then available to the host coral.

Gorgonia flabellum FileGorgonia flabellum Long Bayjpg Wikimedia Commons
Gorgonia flabellum Section Corals Soft Group Gorgonians Holaxonia Species

References

Gorgonia flabellum Wikipedia


Similar Topics
Gorgonia
Gorgonia ventalina
Gorgoniidae
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