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Capnella sp.JPG
Capnella sp.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Alcyonacea
Suborder: Alcyoniina
Family: Nephtheidae
Gray, 1862 [1]
See text

Nephtheidae is a family of soft corals in the phylum Cnidaria. Members of this family are known as carnation corals, tree corals or colt soft corals. They are very attractive and show a wide range of rich and pastel colours including reds, pinks, yellows and purples. They are popular with reef aquarium hobbyists.[2]

Most of these corals are arborescent and have little knobs on the end of their rubbery branches. The coral polyps tend to retract in the daytime which gives these corals their alternative name of broccoli corals because of their resemblance to the vegetable. At night the polyps emerge and extend their tentacles to feed, looking like little bunches of flowers on the ends of the branches.[3]


The World Register of Marine Species includes the following genera in this family:[4]


  1. ^ van Ofwegen, Leen (2010). "Nephtheidae". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 
  2. ^ The Soft Corals, Order Alcyonacea; Use In Reef Aquariums Wet Web Media. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  3. ^ Corals of many colors: The Nephtheidae Family The Right Blue. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  4. ^ "WoRMS - World Register of Marine Species - Nephtheidae Gray, 1862". Retrieved 2018-03-24.