Marine Invertebrate of the Week: Rubbery Zoanthid

Rubbery Zoanthid (Palythoa caesia)

This past weekend I went snorkeling on the east side and found a peculiar creature that I’ve never seen before.  Turns out it’s actually a type of zoanthid, Palythoa caesia.  Zoanthids are cnidarians and consist of colonies of individual polyps.  The polyps in this picture were closed, which they usually are in areas of high surge.  This zoanthid was white, but this species can also be shades of brown, and is named for it’s rubbery-like texture.

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