A close relative of the hard corals, and cousin to the anemones, the Florida Corallimorph (Ricordea florida) is a rather elusive creature, often being found in shallow rocky areas where it grows singly or in small groups. As with other species of Cnidarians, it has nematocyst cells in its tentacles with which it stuns prey that it then consumes through its centrally located mouth. This sting is not usually felt if stung by humans, but as with all coral reef creatures it is always better not to touch as, apart from the threat of stinging, unwanted fingers can cause damage to the oraganism that is being touched. The Florida Corallimorph can display a wonderful variety of colours, thanks to the zooxanthellae algae that lives symbiotically within its tissues. Corallimorphs feeds off waste products from the zooxanthellae, as well as small fish and plankton that they catch with their tentacles, and dissolved organic matter absorbed directly from the water.
This species is popular among aquarium enthusiasts due to its beauty and ease of care. For more images of this fascinating creature see here. At Reef Creature Clothing however, we do not condone collection of individuals for aquarium use from the wild, and think it is far better to appreciate them through diving! Captive breeding programs only please!
About Reef Creature Clothing
We specialise in not only coral reef inspired athleisure wear, but also beach & swim wear, and other printed products. All our colourful and vibrant designs are made using digitally enhanced prints of real underwater photographs taken in the Caribbean. We donate all of our profits after costs to The Coral Reef Research Hub, a small non-profit organisation that seeks to help fund research projects undertaken by early career coral reef scientists. The projects funded are those that aim to contribute information that will hopefully lead to legislative change, and thus help to protect coral reefs and their associated resources for generations to come!
We write these regular ‘creature features’ to help you learn more about the fascinating inhabitants of the coral reefs where our images came from. More will continue to be posted over the coming months so watch this space!