Toadstool Leather Coral
About This Animal
SIZE: Variable; up to 16 inches diameter, 16 inches tall
RANGE: Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. Fiji, Maldives, Philippines, Indonesia and Tonga
HABITAT: Lagoons and reefs
DIET: Some small plankton, but primarily photosynthetic deriving much of it food from symbiotic algae
ON EXHIBIT: Boneless Beauties at Ocean Journey
Toadstools belong to a group of soft corals known as leather corals because of their soft, leather-like bodies. Toadstools may appear in a wide variety of colors but generally turn to a shade of golden brown as the numbers of zooxanthellae in their tissues increases.
Toadstool corals go through regenerative phases where they may appear to be shrinking or dying. This is normal for this group; after shedding a waxy coating they emerge looking better than ever.