Invert of the Week: Blue Octocoral

Blue Octocoral (Sarcothelia edmondsoni) is only found in Hawai’i!  It is a type of soft coral, and if you look real closely it resembles snowflakes.  Octocoral polyps have eight rays, hence the name.  It can be a radiant blue or a dull purple-brown.  A great place to see lots of blue octocoral is in the shallow waters of Shark’s Cove on Oahu’s North shore.  I’ve also seen it while doing benthic surveys in Waikīkī, where it tends to be the dull purple-brown color, and in tide pools at Portlock in Hawai’i Kai.  It’s very small, so keep your eyes on the look out next time you are in the water!

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