Caribbean Corals and Sponges guide
Terry’s video guide to underwater life in the Caribbean
Corals and Sponges you will encounter when snorkeling and scuba diving on Caribbean reefs
Hard corals, also known as Stony Corals are marine animals that build themselves a hard Skeleton.
These corals are found at all depths, some form reefs, others are solitary.
The growth rate of some hard corals is around a 1/2 inch a year so larger specimens are hundreds of years old.
Coral Varieties you will see on the video:
Grooved Brain Coral (Diploria labyrinthiformis). 0:20.5
Great Star Coral (Montastraea cavernosa). 0:26.3
Smooth Flower Coral (Eusmilia fastiginia). 0:49.5
Branching Fire Coral (Millepora alcicornis). 1:07.4
Great Star Coral (Montastraea cavernosa). 1:25.9
Boulder Brain Coral (Colpophyllia natans). 1:46.1
Lobed Star Coral (Montastraea annularis). 2:06.09
Pillar Coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus). 2:27.5
Natural Sea Sponges are some of the simplest multicellular organisms alive. They do not have brains, digestive, circulatory or nervous systems and, once rooted, do not move. Tube and Vase sponges are extremely colourful and provide shelter for many types of marine life.
Sponges feed by filtering water. They can filter an amount of water 100,000 times their size each day!
A Barrel sponge can grow large enough to fit a person inside!
Black Coral is a group of soft coral species.
Black Corals are rarely black on the outside, but vary in color from white to red, green, yellow, or brown.
Traditionally used as a semi-precious stone for making jewelry, over harvesting has taken its toll.
Some cultures historically believe that it has mythical powers and medicinal use, also that the coral wards away evil.
This Coral is an Appendix II CITES protected species, trade is controlled and all exports require a licence.
Hurricane Damaged Corals
Hurricane Maria hit St Kitts in September 2017.
This video shows the debris of Coral and Sponges on the seaward side of Harbor reef..