Soft corals Principal Forms in the Hobby
First the general disclaimer regarding classifying difficult-to-discern life forms. The alcyonaceans that we call soft corals are really told apart only by microscopic examination of the aforementioned calcareous particles (sclerites). Therefore we will detail them more generically, as in by family and most commonly available genera.
Family Nephtheidae; Carnation, Tree, Colt Soft Corals, the genera Capnella, Dendronephthya, Nephthea, Scleronephthya, Cladiella, Lemnalia and more are known to all divers and other appreciators of tropical marine environments. They are the gorgeous warm colored (red, pink, yellow) and purplish cotton-candy looking creatures attached to reefs. Know that these colorful, branched-tree animals inflate and shrink regularly in rhythm with feeding and metabolite flushing, and that many species are difficult to care for; read-up and ask your dealer.
For more information you may visit http://www.wetwebmedia.com/soft.htm. Photo by G. Reclos / MCH