Octocorals; Octocorallia

The Octocorals include Soft, Whip and Fan corals, plus the Sea Pens. Many of these Cnidarians are hosts to small macro beasties for our scuba diving underwater photography fiends.

Less spectacular soft coral genera - Lobophyton, Sarcophyton and Sinularia Corals - in a variety of shades of brown! (2 Galleries)

Looking more like a fan than a whip.

These flexible Octocorals are found where strong currents can run.

Dendronephya, Lemnalia, Nepthea (+ Studeriotes) species.

Found out on the sand, beyond the coral reef. Some will retract quickly if alarmed by a blundering diver.

A colourful variety of filter feeding structures, found in areas where the water flows quickly.

Filter feeders, again always found where the currents run strong.

They all recognisably have 8 tentacles, although it's far from obvious with the blue corals.