The red sea fan is an alcyonaria.



These corels do not have branched tentacles, they are situated in two or more circles and the number of tentacles can usually be divided by six. Hexacorallia can be either solitary or live in colonies. They can be soft or supported by a calcareous or keratin form.

It is predominently hexacorallia that has built the tropical coral reefs, where they share the envionment with microscopic algae. These small algae live in the coral polyps; the coral and algae live in symbios, they benefit each other. This results in that coral reefs must exist in relatively shallow water so the algae gets sunlight. The coral Lophelia pertusa does not live in symbios with any form of alga, therefore it can survive in deep water. Lophelia pertusa belongs to the group true corals. Within the group hexacorallia that exist in Swedish waters, the anemones (e.g. the dahlia anemone) and the coelentrates are also found.
    The coral group consists of about 70 specie in Swedish waters and about 6 000 specie world-wide.
    Read more about the different corals!

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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson