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Corky Sea Finger Gorgonian 4 to 8″

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Habitat: Distribution / Background

The Corky Sea Finger Briareum asbestinum was described by Pallas in 1766. Some other common names this species is known by include Purple Corky Finger, Sea Stalk Briareum, Deadman’s Finger, Caribbean Corky Finger, Moss Coral, Corky Seafinger, Corky Finger Gorgonian, Encrusting Gorgonian, and Briareum.

About the Briareum Genus:

Pacific Oceans. In the Western Atlantic they are found along the US and Canadian coasts as well as in the Caribbean. Some common names the Atlantic species are known by are Encrusting Gorgonian and Briareum. Common names Pacific species are known for are Pacific Encrusting Gorgonian and Star Polyps.

The Briareum corals are very common and found on all reef areas, and are not on the IUCN Red List for Endangered Species. These corals inhabit depths from 3 to 131 feet (1 – 40) with some species, like the Pacific Encrusting Gorgonian B. stechei, even found in just ankle deep water. The waters vary, having strong or weak water movement. The waters can also be very clean or very nutrient rich, and they can have varying amounts of lighting.

These are soft corals in the Class Anthozoa, Subclass Octocorallia, and Order Alcyonacea. They are currently classified as a gorgonian under the Suborder Scleraxonia, which have fused sclerites in their core and rind. The Briareum genus is further placed in the Briareidae family. This family originally had just this single genus, but has been recently revised to include two additional genera, Lignopsis (Perez & Zamponi, 2000) and Pseudosuberia (Kükenthal, 1919), each if which have just a single species.

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