species: Dendronephthya sp. 1 in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Dendronephthya sp. 1

©Andy Lewis: A colony Dendronephthya sp. 1 at North Reef Lizard Island.

©Andy Lewis: Colour variation in a colony of Dendronephthya sp. 1 from North Reef

©Andy Lewis: Colour variation in a colony of Dendronephthya sp. 1 from North Reef
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Octocorallia
Order Malacalcyonacea
Family Nephtheidae
Genus Dendronephthya
Species Dendronephthya sp. 1



Distinguishing features

All Dendronephthya species have a distinct stalked morphology. Polyps are found in small clusters on the upper branchlets, but not generally on the main stalk. Polyps are monomorphic and non-retractile. The colony is capable of changes in size, facilitated by water retention, and they are rough or prickly to the touch, due to the presence of numerous calcium carbonate sclerites embedded in the tissue.


  • Size data has not been obtained.



Distribution and habitat preferences

Walls along reef fronts below 5m with good water movement but limited stress from wave action.

Can be found in most reef habitats around Lizard Island.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Fabricius, K. and P. Alderslade (2001). in: Soft corals and sea fans: a comprehensive guide to the tropical shallow water genera of the central-west Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.

Other references

  • Fabricius, K.E. (1997). Soft coral abundance on the central Great Barrier Reef: effects of Acanthaster planci, space availability, and aspects of the physical environment, Coral Reefs, 16(3): 159-167.
  • Goulet, T.L., T.C. LaJeunesse and K.E. Fabricius (2008). Symbiont specificity and bleaching susceptibility among soft corals in the 1998 Great Barrier Reef mass coral bleaching event, Marine Biology, 154: 795-804.
  • View all references