In honor of Independence Day, allow me to share some of my favorite zoanthid corals – the colorful firecrackers of my reef.
These are Jokers (No surprise):
A green unnamed Zoanthid that’s a favorite with the sexy shrimp.
Nuclear green palythoas (a relative of the zoanthids), teal palys and a feather duster worm:
Some zoanthids form a mat, like these crater polyps:
And, last but not least, (Tesla’s favorite) Ring of Fire:
The color and shape of zoanthid polyps cause many people to mistake them for flowers or plants, but like all other coral, they’re actually animals that cluster together in colonies on the reef. Although many zoanthids produce a highly poisonous palytoxin, they remain a favorite among collectors and reef-observers alike.
Have a Happy Independence Day!