Deep sea gorgonian
|Deep sea gorgonian|
Deep sea gorgonian ( Iciligorgia schrammi )
|Scientific name of the genus|
|Duchassaing , 1870|
|Scientific name of the species|
The deep sea gorgonian ( Iciligorgia schrammi ) occurs in the Caribbean , near the Bahamas , on the coasts of Florida , and on the Atlantic coast of South America from Colombia to Brazil . It is still rare in shallow water from a depth of 15 meters, but it becomes populations at depths well below 300 meters. It always only grows on steep walls that are protected from light and flow.
It forms up to two meters high, fan-shaped colonies standing in a plane perpendicular to the flow , which branch dichotomously , but not very regularly. Its branches are slightly flattened and colored gray-brown to burgundy red in shallow water; they become lighter in deeper water. The polyps are also open during the day. It differs from related species in the shape and thickness of the branches and the color of the polyps. In the unrelated black corals (Antipatharia) that live in the same habitat , the polyps are lighter and only sit in small calyxes on the outer edge of the branches.