Antillogorgia elisabethae

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Antillogorgia elisabethae
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Alcyonacea
Family: Gorgoniidae
Genus: Antillogorgia
Species: A. elisabethae
Binomial name
Antillogorgia elisabethae
Bayer, 1961
  • Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae Bayer, 1961

Antillogorgia elisabethae is a species of soft coral found in the Caribbean Sea in the shape of a sea plume (also called a sea whip). It resides from depths of 25 metres (82 ft) to 30 metres (98 ft), often at reef drop-offs. It looks like a plume of feathery appendages with radial symmetry. The branches of A. elisabethae are pinnate and distichous, and will orient themselves in the direction of the ocean current. It ranges in size from 0.3 metres (0.98 ft) to 2 metres (6.6 ft).[1] It is considered commercially important as it is harvested for analgesics and cosmetic creams.[1][2] The compound that is believed to cause its beneficial effects is Pseudopterosin A, a diterpene glycoside,[3] a selective analgesic.[4] A. elisabethae is also used in fish tanks as a part of the commercial pet industry.[5][1] The species has a Least Concern conservation status.[1]


The female exposes her eggs to the water current by placing them on her reproductive polyps. Sperm will eventually come into contact with the eggs, and the fertilized egg will develop into a planula in 1–2 days. The larvae form a colony on the parent for 2–4 days and then will become free-swimming. The free-swimming larvae are ciliated and bilaterally symmetric. Once the larvae become free-swimming, they will usually settle near the parent organism, as they are negatively buoyant and will sink to the ocean floor, where they grow into adults and continue the cycle.[1] Its mating system is thus polygynandrous.[1] The peak reproductive times for A. elisabethae are between November and January.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae". University of Michigan. 2013. Archived from the original on 15 January 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  2. ^ Carla Gutierrez-Rodriguez; Howard R. Lasker (9 July 2004). "Microsatellite variation reveals high levels of genetic variability and population structure in the gorgonian coral Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae across the Bahamas". Molecular Ecology. 13 (8): 2211–2221. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2004.02247.x. Archived from the original on 15 January 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  3. ^ Stacee Lee Caplan; Bo Zheng; Ken Dawson-Scully; Catherine A. White; Lyndon M. West (10 March 2016). George Perry, ed. "Pseudopterosin A: Protection of Synaptic Function and Potential as a Neuromodulatory Agent". Marine Drugs. 14 (3): 55. doi:10.3390/md14030055. PMC 4820309.
  4. ^ Johann Mulzer (2005). Natural Product Synthesis II: Targets, Methods, Concepts. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 39. ISBN 9783540211242. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  5. ^ Julian Sprung (1 March 2004). "Aquarium Invertebrates: Caribbean Gorgonians: Beauty in Motion". Archived from the original on 15 January 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  6. ^ Carla Gutierrez-Rodriguez; Howard R. Lasker (1 March 2004). "Reproductive biology, development, and planula behavior in the Caribbean gorgonian Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae". Invertebrate Biology. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 123 (1): 54–67. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7410.2004.tb00141.x. Archived from the original on 15 January 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2017.