Organ pipe coral
|Organ pipe coral|
|Organ pipe coral skeleton|
The Organ pipe coral (Tubipora musica) is an alcyonarian coral native to the waters of the Indian Ocean and the central and western regions of the Pacific Ocean. It is the only known species of the genus Tubipora. This species is a soft coral but with a unique, hard skeleton of calcium carbonate that contains many organ pipe-like tubes. On each tube is a series of polyps which each have eight feather-like tentacles. These tentacles are usually extended during the day, but will swiftly withdraw with any sort of disturbance. The skeleton is a bright red color, but is typically obscured by the numerous polyps, which are green or gray in color. In size, colonies can reach up to a meter across, while the individual polyps are typically less than 3 mm wide and a few mm long. They are restricted to shallow waters and tend to live in sheltered areas where they eat plankton. They are close relatives to other soft coral and sea fans. This species is sometimes kept in aquariums, but is temperamental, and is difficult to maintain.
- Allen, Gerald (June 20, 2001). Marine Life of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 962-593-948-2. p. 21.
- ARKive species. Tubipora musica - organ-pipe coral. Retrieved on December 12, 2008.
- Tristan Lougher (2006). What Fish?: A Buyer's Guide to Marine Fish. Interpet Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84286-118-9.