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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Multicolored Sea Fan

The Multicolored Sea Fan, (Acabaria rubra), is a species of coral in the family Melithaeidae. It is only found around the South African coast from Bloubergstrand to East London. It is found at depths of 33 to 100 feet in its habitat, which are vertical surfaces on reefs and under overhangs, usually orientated perpendicularly to the water flow.

Sea fan colonies grow to about 12 inches high, with branches between branches no more than 0.15 inches in length. It is bushy with thin cylindrical branches which are often tangled or joined. Polyps emerge from knobs on the surface of the colony. Color is variable, with colonies being red, yellow, white or pink. Individuals polyps are generally white, yellow or red.

This species may grow in collections of sponges, bryozoans or tunicates. It is preyed upon by the coral nudibranch, Phyllodesmium horridum, as well as the walking anemone, Preactis millardae.

Multicolored Sea Fan